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Health Warning: Sewage Spill on Karamu/Clive

Media Release

17 December 2009

Health Warning: Sewage Spill on Karamu/Clive

The public are advised not to swim or have any contact recreation activities (such as rowing) in the Karamu Stream-Clive River due to a spillage of sewage into the waterway.

Vandalism on a sewerage pipe last night in Havelock North has resulted in an unknown quantity of sewage spilling into the Karamu Stream.

Hastings District Council is fixing the damaged pipe to stop the spillage and effluent trucks are cleaning up what they can from the public drain that flows into the Karamu.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is working with the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board to assess the extent of the contamination and to warn local users and the community. Public are also advised not to allow pets to drink from or swim in the stream. River water samples are being taken to assess the extent and level of faecal contamination. The warning status will be lifted when the stream water is clear of contamination.

The Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones advised that until sampling shows that levels of contamination have dropped to a safe recreational swimming limit, people should avoid any activity in the water including the gathering of any food from the stream.

“Sewage in water increases the risks of infections of the stomach, skin, eyes and ears,” he said.

Anyone who has been in contact with the water in the last twelve hours and is feeling unwell, has a skin rash or any other symptom is advised to see their GP. The Regional Council is alerting the rowing club, waka ama, water ski groups, and advising marae along the waterway.


ENDS

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