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Health Warning: Sewerage Spill

5 April 2005

Health Warning: Sewerage Spill into the Karamu Stream at Havelock North - Karamu Stream and Clive River Polluted

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board advises the public not to swim, undertake other water contact recreational activities or to take watercress fromalong the Karamu Stream, from Havelock North down to the Clive River mouth due to an overflow of sewerage that has occurred from a pumping station in Havelock North.

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council advise that anyone using water for any purpose should be aware that it may be contaminated.

It is estimated that the peak of contamination will reach the Clive river mouth between 6 pm Wednesday 6 April and 12 noon on Thursday 7 April. At this stage we expect it to be still within the Karamu River system upstream of Whakatu.

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council has commenced a water sampling programme from the Karamu and Clive rivers. The Hastings District Council has stopped the discharge and are undertaking clean up. The discharge was caused by a power failure at the pumping station.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Caroline McElnay, advises that until sampling shows that levels of contamination have dropped to safe recreational limits people should definitely avoid any recreational water activities around these areas.

“Swimming in sewerage contaminated water poses a risk of infections of the stomach, skin, eyes and ears,” she said.

Warning signs are being erected around the area.

ENDS

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