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Don't take shellfish or swim at Picton Foreshore

Don't take shellfish or swim at Picton Foreshore or Shelley Beach

29 June 2017

Late yesterday, Marlborough District Council was made aware of a sewer overflow from the town’s sewerage system into the Waitohi Stream and Picton harbour.

Council operations and maintenance engineer Stephen Rooney said an overflow from a blocked sewer pipe was allowing sewage into Waitohi Stream and into the harbour.

Council’s contractors were called in to clear the blockage at the site.

Council will erect signs tomorrow morning on the Picton Foreshore and at Shelley Beach, warning of the sewer discharge and advising against swimming or collecting shellfish until bacteria levels have dropped.

“We will take down the signs once it’s safe and in the meantime people should practice good hygiene if they come into contact with sewage or with sea water in the harbour area; thorough hand washing is important,” said Mr Rooney.

Water samples will be tested on Friday and through the weekend.

“Two or three tidal cycles should flush the harbour clean and all traces of contamination should disappear fairly quickly,” Mr Rooney said.

“We appreciate when the public report sightings of pollution in the harbour or streams to council, so that we can investigate it.”

“We rely on the public to help us and be our eyes and ears.”

The Council’s upgrade of the Picton sewerage system will see five kilometres of new pipeline laid under the town, three pump stations re-built, two pump stations upgraded and a new treatment facility at Dublin Street. The staged project is due for completion in 2019.

It’s a major infrastructural upgrade for the town and, when complete, Picton will have a sewerage system that will perform at a high level compared to the standard of other urban areas in New Zealand, said Mr Rooney.

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