Campers, kids and dogs caught swimming in local catchment area

TWO local public sources of drinking water were potentially contaminated when four unauthorised campers swam in catchment areas, with dogs also caught swimming in the water.

Melissa Ann Feeley and Travis Denning Ray did not appear in Mandurah Magistrates Court but entered endorsed guilty pleas to all charges.

The court heard the couple were caught by rangers on patrol at the North Dandalup dam catchment area with Mr Ray, two children and three dogs seen in the water.

A blow-up boat was also seen with them.

The dam once supplied about 10 per cent of Perth’s annual water consumption, according to the Department of Water.

Ms Feeley and two children were witnessed around the water’s edge.

When spoken to by rangers, the court heard Mr Ray admitted to the ownership of the three dogs and said they had been in the water for an hour.

The court heard Ms Feeley admitted to seeing signs prohibiting the couple’s entry but continued to drive their white Nissan Navara to the site.

Also facing similar charges on Friday, Cheyne William Tully and Janis Dawn Allen failed to appear in court.

The duo entered endorsed guilty pleas after they were caught in a prohibited area at the South Dandalup dam catchment area.

Rangers arrived at the scene to find the couple sitting on deck chairs with two dogs tied up nearby.

The couple made admissions to entering the water but said they had not seen any signs prohibiting them from entering to camp.

Ms Allen admitted to seeing gates before they entered the dam.

According to the Department of Water “the [South Dandalup] reservoir is a strategic source of public drinking water for the Integrated Water Supply System (IWSS), which provides drinking water to Perth, Mandurah, Pinjarra, Harvey, the Goldfields and agricultural regions”.

“Unauthorised activities occur as a result of open access to the catchment,” a Department of Water protection report read.

“Unauthorised activities include swimming, fishing, marroning, hunting, camping, dog exercising, off-road driving and rubbish dumping.

“It should be noted that these activities are prohibited in the reservoir and catchments under the MWSSD Act by-laws.”

Facing a maximum $200 per offence, Mr Ray was fined $600 and Ms Feeley $400 plus court costs.

Both Ms Allen and Mr Tully each fined $300 each and ordered to pay court costs.