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Public warned not to swim at Herne Bay

MEDIA RELEASE


24 December 2004

Public warned not to swim at Herne Bay

The public is being warned not to swim at Herne Bay after regular beach water testing found high levels of bacteria.

High levels of enterococci were found and are likely to have been caused by a sewage overflow following heavy rain. Metrowater is undertaking further investigations to confirm the cause.

The test levels exceeded the Ministry for the Environment’s guidelines of 280 enterococci per 100mls.

Warning signs have been erected at the beach until the water is given the all clear.

Daily sampling will be carried out until two consecutive water samples are below the safe level of 280 enterococci per 100mls.

Barry Smedts, manager of compliance monitoring at Auckland City Environments, says as a general rule, people should NOT swim for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.

“Stormwater and wet weather sewerage overflows are the two main sources of beach water pollution at urban beaches and these usually occur after heavy rainfall,” said Mr Smedts.

The Safeswim programme is a joint initiative between Auckland City, North Shore City and Rodney District Councils. The programme involves weekly testing of water quality at 61 beaches and lakes in the region, including some on Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands.

Test results are 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).

ENDS

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