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Double check before you dip

Double check before you dip

As temperatures rise, Bay of Plenty and Lakes residents are urged to check recreational water is safe before taking the plunge.

Toi Te Ora – Public Health and Environment Bay of Plenty work together to ensure local rivers, lakes and beaches have high water quality. The annual monitoring gets underway on Monday 9 October.

Most of the time water quality meets health guidelines but occasionally contamination occurs, mainly during or shortly after rainfall. The contaminants, which include human and animal faecal matter, can enter our waterways through urban and rural storm water runoff.

“It’s best to avoid recreational water for 48 hours after rainfall that leads to any discolouration of the water,” says Health Protection Officer Annaka Davis. “Let the waters clear for a day or so to avoid increased exposure to faecal contamination, which can cause gut, ear, skin or respiratory infections.”

Water monitoring is based on guidelines released by the Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Health. These identify alert levels, ranging from ‘green’ (unlikely to be contaminated) to ‘amber’ (potentially contaminated) to ‘red’ (likely to be contaminated).

“If testing indicates a monitored recreational water site is ‘red’ Toi Te Ora - Public Health will advise the public that the site is temporarily unsuitable for recreational use and warning signs will be erected by the local authority,” says Annaka Davis.

To check out water quality in your favourite swimming spot go to:
www.bopdhb.govt.nz/ToiTeOra/Water.asp
or
www.envbop.govt.nz/Water/BathingStatus/Swimming-water-quality-.asp

Ends

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