Waipuka Stream and Esk River contaminated
12 December 2008
Waipuka Stream at Ocean Beach and Esk River contaminated – swimming warning
Hawke’s Bay’s District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Lester Calder, today issued a warning to the public that, due to contamination, they should not swim in the
• Waipuka Stream at Ocean Beach
• Esk River
Monitoring by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has identified high levels of E.coli in water samples taken on 8 December 2008. The levels significantly exceed the maximum levels recommended in the Recreational Water Guidelines and indicate that, at the time of sampling, excessive amounts of faecal matter, either animal or human, in the water.
The Hastings District Council has put up warning signs.
Dr Calder says people should avoid all freshwater recreational waterways such as lagoons, streams, and rivers for at least three days after heavy rain. Beaches can also pose a health risk as contaminants are flushed down rivers to the coast.
All water should be checked before swimming to see that the water is clear- generally a sign that it is free from contamination. Dr Calder says “A quick test is can you see your feet when knee deep in the water, alternatively take the kids to the local swimming pool to cool off instead.”
People can phone the Safe Swimming Line - (06) 878 1368 - or check the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website www.hbrc.govt.nz. for the latest water quality information.