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Sewage overflow closes Okahu beach


2 March 2004

Sewage overflow closes Okahu beach

The public is warned not to swim or participate in water activities at Okahu beach until further notice. Heavy rain overloaded the sewerage system over the weekend, causing overflows into the harbour through the outlet pipe beside Orakei Wharf.

As a precautionary measure a warning sign has been erected at Okahu Bay.

Water sampling from Okahu Bay will be increased to daily. The warning sign will remain up at Okahu Bay until test results give the all clear.

Auckland City will continue to monitor water quality weekly as part of the Safeswim programme, with results available from the Friday of each week. The information can be accessed anytime by calling 0800 SAFESWIM (0800 72 33 79), or by the Auckland City Safeswim website (www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/safeswim).

Watercare is currently planning to replace the main sewer in the area – the pipe that crosses Hobson Bay - with an underground tunnel. The tunnel would have three times the capacity of the existing sewer, virtually eliminating overflows into the Waitemata Harbour from the Orakei wharf outlet and from three other discharge points into Hobson Bay. Watercare plans to lodge applications for resource consents for the tunnel next month, and the public will be invited to make submissions.

In the meantime, people should NOT swim for 48 hours after heavy rainfall because stormwater and wet weather sewage overflows are the two main sources of beach water pollution at urban beaches. Local streams may also not be safe after heavy rain.


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