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Dial before you dip

2 November 2007

Dial before you dip

Before you pull on your togs this summer, give your local beach a health check by dialling 0800 SAFESWIM (0800 723379) or visiting www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/safeswim for the latest water quality information.

The Safeswim campaign, which is into its ninth season of beach water monitoring, will test 20 beaches around Auckland city, Waiheke and Great Barrier islands weekly, from 7 November 2007 to 23 April 2008.

Auckland City's environmental health manager, Chris Dee, says the Safeswim message is simple, yet important.

"We want people to be aware of water quality issues that affect our beaches at certain times, such as not swimming 48 hours after heavy rainfall, because heavy rain can cause stormwater and wastewater overflows, which can affect water quality at swimming spots," says Mr Dee.

The monitoring programme tests for enteroccoci, a bacteria which indicates the likelihood of faecal material that has the potential to cause illness such as mild diarrhoea or respiratory infections. If tests show a beach has high levels of enterococci, warning signs advising you not to swim or take part in other water activities will be erected. The water will then be retested until results become clear.

Testing takes place every Wednesday, with results available Friday.

ENDS

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