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Dial before you dip

Auckland City Council
Media release

3 December 2008

Dial before you dip

Auckland City Council launched its 10th Safeswim season last month, which sees 20 of the city’s most popular beaches undergo water quality testing each week over summer until April.

The weekly sampling, which is carried out by helicopter, measures the levels of enterococci bacteria in the water. Enteroccoci are bacteria which are used to indicate the likelihood of presence of faecal material and the potential to cause illness such as mild diarrhoea or respiratory infections.

“As the weather gets warmer, and people are spending time at the beaches, we urge people to take advantage of this great free service. Dial before you dip and call 0800 SAFESWIM (0800 723 379). Beaches, and water quality are important to Aucklanders, and Auckland City Council is committed to maintaining the safe standard we all enjoy,” says Councillor Aaron Bhatnagar, chairperson of the  City Development Committee.

Stormwater and sewage overflows, caused by occasional heavy rain, are thought to be the likely cause of higher levels of bacteria found in the past. For that reason it is recommended people do not swim for 48 hours after heavy rainfall and stay away from stormwater outlets.

The city beaches which make up the programme are Pt England, Pt Chevalier Beach, Herne Bay, Home Bay, Judges Bay, Okahu Bay, Mission Bay, Kohimarama Bay, St Heliers Bay, Ladies Bay, Grannys Bay, Waikowhai Bay and Blockhouse Bay beaches.

Hauraki Gulf islands beaches which will be tested as part of the programme are, Surfdale, Oneroa, Palm Beach, Onetangi Bay, Okupu, Pah Beach and Mulberry Grove.

Visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/safeswim for more information on the Safeswim programme or if you wish to subscribe to receive weekly results.



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