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Rain causes swimming warnings in Hawke’s Bay

1 December 2005:

Heavy rain causes swimming warnings throughout Hawke’s Bay

Recent heavy rain has caused pollution to contaminate many Hawke’s Bay waterways, says Hawke’s Bay’s District Health Board medical officer of Health, Dr Caroline McElnay.

Dr McElnay is advising people to avoid all freshwater recreational waterways such as lagoons, streams, and rivers until we have had a three-day period of fine weather.

Waterways that are known to currently contain high levels of bacteria, from sampling undertaken on 28 and 29 November 2005, include:

- Maungawhio Lagoon
- Wairoa River at Ski Club
- Lake Tutira at Camping Ground
- Waipatiki Lagoon
- Esk River at Eskdale Park
- Tutaekuri River at Pakowhai Road Bridge
- Ngaruroro River at Chesterhope
- Clive River at SH2 Bridge
- Tukituki River at Black Bridge
- Maraetotara Lagoon
- Waipuka Stream at Ocean Beach
- Puhokio Stream at Waimarama Beach
- Kairakau Lagoon

Monitoring by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has shown levels of bacterial pollution that exceed the levels recommended in the Ministries of Health and Environment’s recreational water guidelines. The level of these bacteria indicates excessive amounts of faecal matter, either animal or human, present in the water.

The Public Health Unit would like to remind people that all surface water should be assessed before swimming by checking the water clarity and evaluating the number of animals and water birds in or near the swimming point.

“This is definitely a good time to use a swimming pool.” Dr McElnay said.

The Public Health Unit operates a “Safe Swimming Line” the number is (06) 878-1368. This line is updated regularly with information on sites that may be contaminated.

ENDS


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