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Take a second look before taking a dip this summer

MEDIA RELEASE 8 DECEMBER 2008

Take a second look before taking a dip this summer

A recent Consumer NZ water quality survey confirms what we know – beaches, rivers and lakes in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes are great for swimming.

The survey identified Mount Maunganui and Papamoa beaches and Lake Rotoiti as ‘very good’ for swimming, in the top 17 percent.

Toi Te Ora – Public Health Medical Officer of Health Jim Miller says while we have high quality swimming spots, it’s important for people to take steps to identify whether their favourite place is free from contaminants.

“Look for warning signs, check out Environment Bay of Plenty’s website and be alert for health warnings on the radio and in newspapers,” he says.

People are urged not to swim in rivers for two days after heavy rain because the water can be contaminated by farm and urban runoff.

“Have a good look around before you go swimming or gathering shellfish,” says Dr Jim Miller. “If the water looks murky or has scum on the surface, swim somewhere else, or you could suffer a stomach ache, earache or skin rashes. Avoid pipes and culverts where storm water may be discharged and wharves or marinas where there might be pollution.”

Dr Miller encourages everyone to enjoy the lakes, beaches and rivers in our region this summer but keep safe.

Environment Bay of Plenty monitors more than 80 popular coastal, river and lake recreation sites and health warnings are issued by Toi Te Ora – Public Health if public health is at risk. To check water quality of local areas go to http://www.envbop.govt.nz/water/water.asp

ENDS

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