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Summer checks of swimming spots starts again

October 30 2009

Summer checks of swimming spots starts again

Summer monitoring of the water quality at the most popular swimming spots around Hawke's Bay will begin again on November 2 2009.

The public can get information on water quality right through summer from the 24 hour “B4U Swim Line” - 06 878 1368 – or the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website www.hbrc.govt.nz.

Most of the coastal beaches in Hawke’s Bay have good water quality through the summer months. Any problems tend to be short lived, with murky water and contamination generally reducing within 3 days after heavy rain. However some streams, rivers and coastal lagoons can have longer lasting water quality problems.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council monitors the water quality at 30 coastal and river swimming sites from Mahia to Porangahau. Staff look for bacteria which may indicate the presence of faecal contamination that can cause illness.

Local councils and the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Public Health Unit provide information on any health risks to the public through the dedicated phone line, local news media, websites and signage.

“When bacteria levels in the water exceeds national guidelines there is a greater risk of skin, ear and eye infections and stomach illness, so the Public Health Unit advises people of water quality problems,” said Nessie Valler, Health Protection Officer from the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

National water quality guidelines have been set by the Ministries of Environment and Health.

“It only takes a moment to check signs at the beach phone the "B4U Swim Line" or go on the internet before letting children, in particular, swim in the water.”

ENDS

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