A HANDFUL of Redhead residents have taken up the initiative to test their local waterway for environmental and health risks.
Earlier this month three Redhead residents trained with the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority to build up their skills to regularly monitor Freshwater Creek.
The creek runs from Redhead Lagoon, near Dudley, through the Redhead township to Redhead Beach.
The authority has trained the volunteers - with equipment provided by Lake Macquarie Council - to measure temperature, pH levels, electrical conductivity (salt), turbidity, and available phosphate and oxygen levels in the water.
The residents are all members of Redhead Sustainable Neighbourhood, which formed in 2010 to help preserve the suburb's natural environment.
Ingrid Berthold, an authority spokeswoman, said the volunteers could monitor any bacteria harmful to swimmers at Redhead Beach.
The test results will be available for the public to view online on the Catchment NSW database.
Find out more about Redhead Sustainable Neighbourhood at sustainableredhead. wordpress.com.