News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Caution required using recreational water after heavy rain

Caution required using recreational water after heavy rain

Now that we are all drying out after the heavy rain last week and at the weekend, a cooling dip might seem attractive. However, caution is required as there are potential health risks associated with contaminated recreational water.

“If you swim in or drink contaminated water, you risk getting sick,” says Dr Phil Shoemack, Medical Officer of Health. Illnesses you can catch include a tummy bug, a sore throat or skin infection. After heavy rain water is likely to be contaminated with animal faeces from rural and urban run-off. As a precaution people should avoid swimming in rivers, streams and harbour areas for 48 hours after heavy rainfall events.

What action to take:
• Avoid swimming for at least 48 hours (two days) after heavy or prolonged rain.
• At any time if you notice the water in your local lake, river, harbour, estuary or beach is murky or has a musty smell, go somewhere else.

Our regional and district/city councils keep a close eye on the quality of our bathing spots. They test the water regularly. If a recreational water site is found to be significantly contaminated, with risk to public health, Toi Te Ora Public Health informs the public by issuing a health warning and the local council erects warning signs.

Up-to-date information on health warnings for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts is available through these channels:
• Phone: 0800 221 555
• Website:
• Facebook:
• Twitter:
• Email alerts for subscribers:


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: The Rift by Rachael Craw

Rachael Craw's first series, Spark has been extremely well received by the YA community in both Australia and New Zealand (it has a hashtag, #SparkArmy), and The Rift looks like it’s going to be just as popular. More>>

Porn And Teens Report: 'Wake-Up Call' On Sexuality Education

Family Planning: The Office of Film and Literature Classification’s survey of more than 2000 young people about pornography highlights that sexuality education provides an opportunity for a vital counter-narrative to porn that could reach most young New Zealanders... More>>


Howard Davis: A Brief History of Handel's Messiah

Messiah has become an overworked Christmas tradition as hoary as chestnuts roasting on an open fire, gorging on mince pies and eggnog, and trying to avoid shopping mall Santas like so many spectral inhabitants of Dante's Seventh Circle of Hell. More>>

NZ Film Pioneer Geoff Murphy Dies Age 80

One of the pioneers of the modern New Zealand film industry, he's perhaps best remembered for the highly successful Utu and the road movie with a special place in New Zealanders' affections, Goodbye Pork Pie. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland