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Swimming Warning: Waipatiki Lagoon Contaminated


Swimming Warning: Waipatiki Lagoon 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 the Waipatiki Lagoon.

Monitoring by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council has identified high levels of E.coli in water samples taken on 24.12.07. The levels significantly exceed the maximum levels recommended in the Recreational Water Guidelines and indicate that, at the time of sampling, excessive amounts of faecal matter, either animal or human in the water.

The Hastings District Council has put up warning signs.

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."

People can phone the Safe Swimming Line or check the Hawke's Bay Regional Council website www.hbrc.govt.nz. for the latest water quality information.

ENDS

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