WHILE 97 per cent of ocean beaches in the state were given the thumbs up by a new water quality report, Malabar Beach was one of three graded as poor.

The NSW State of the Beaches report for 2016-17 has been released and for the most part it was good news.

Coogee rose from poor to good, while Maroubra and Clovelly were given a very good grade.

Malabar’s poor result is despite the diversion of a stormwater drain at the northern end of the beach.

During the past two years, water quality was impacted by stormwater associated with significant rainfall events, including the wettest March for Sydney since 1975.

UNSW water quality researcher Stuart Khan said the result for Malabar was “disappointing”.

“Sydney Water have invested a lot of work getting the major stormwater source off the beach, but the water quality appears to be only getting worse,” he said.

“I think more investigation is warranted.”

Sydney Water’s Paul Higham said $3 billion had been spent in the past 30 years improving water quality.

“This investment will continue in 2017-18 with Sydney Water continuing its $125 million investment in work to improve the wastewater system,” he said.

Mr Khan said Coogee’s result was also an “illusion”.

“The difference between Coogee getting a poor rating last year and a good rating this year really comes down to the difference of one additional rainfall event that happens to coincide with a sampling day,” he said.

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10 Oct 2017 by Marie Hogg