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Clive River contaminated – swimming warning

16 December 2010


Clive River contaminated – swimming warning

Hawke’s Bay’s District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nicholas Jones, today issued a warning to the public that, due to contamination, they should not swim or engage in any other water sport that might result in breathing water spray or water ingestion in the

• Clive River

Monitoring by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has identified very high levels of E.coli in water samples taken on 15th December. 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 are in the water.

Dr Jones said recreational water users should also be aware the Clive River is one of four sites designated as unsuitable for recreational water use, as the river has a poor grading based on sampling taken over the past five years. Permanent signage is already in place to warn against swimming in the Clive River but the recent results should remind the public of both the ongoing risk and the particularly high levels of bacteria in the water at the moment.

Recreational water users run the risk of infection with viruses that cause colds, eye infections and influenza like illnesses. The risks are higher for the very young, very old or people with suppressed immune systems, he said.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council will continue to take samples until the levels of contamination are below recommended levels. The Regional Council will also be working with Hastings District Council to find out what might be contributing to the high levels of contamination at the moment.

People can phone 0800B4USWIM – (06) 878 1368 - or check the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website www.hbrc.govt.nz. for the latest water quality information.

ENDS

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