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Tukituki River and Lake Tutira contaminated

19 December 2007

Swimming warning: Tukituki River and Lake Tutira contaminated

Hawke’s Bay’s District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Caroline McElnay, today issued a warning to the public that, due to contamination, they should not swim in either the

- Tukituki River or
- Lake Tutira

Monitoring by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has identified high levels of E.coli in water samples taken on 17th December 2007. The levels significantly exceed the maximum levels recommended in the Recreational Water Guidelines and indicate at the time of sampling, excessive amounts of faecal matter, either animal or human, in the water.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council will take further samples and the Central Hawke’s Bay and Hastings District Councils will undertake an assessment of the waterways and put up warning signs.

Heavy rain is also scheduled for the next two days and Dr McElnay 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 McElnay 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.”


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