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Swimming Canning River

The Canning River is incredible for recreational water activities, but there are potential hazards to be aware of that might impact your enjoyment.

To make sure waterways are safe to swim in, our Environmental Health Officers undertake regular bacterial testing at popular Canning River locations from November to April.

This testing determines the water quality. The testing data is added to the Department of Health’s classification system of recreational water (beaches and rivers), which is used to help you decide where to swim.

We recommend you check the current water quality grades for the Canning River every time you plan on swimming.

The Department of Health will also issue warnings through on-site signage and social media.

Advice for swimming in the Canning River

There are some basic rules to follow to reduce your risk of exposure to bacteria and other organisms when swimming in the Canning River:

  • Avoid swimming after heavy rainfall (greater than 10 mm). This is due to storm water finding its way into the river system, which brings with it organic matter from drains.
  • Avoid swallowing water or putting your head under water if you are unsure about its quality.
  • Avoid swimming if you have an open wound or infection.

Microalgae Activity Report

The Microalgae Activity Report details the current microalgae levels in the Swan and Canning rivers. It shows how likely discolouration and scum are in the river.

The report is published on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions website every Friday. On Monday it can be read in the weather section of The West Australian newspaper.

During high algal activity, there are warnings issued telling people to avoid the water.

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