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Unsafe Recreational Water Quality at Lake Tekapo

Health Warning – Unsafe Recreational Water Quality at Lake Tekapo at camp ground

15 November 2019

The Community and Public Health division of South Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning after high levels of faecal bacteria were found in a sample taken from Lake Tekapo at the camp ground.

A number of other popular swimming sites in South Canterbury may also have high levels of contamination after recent rainfall. People should avoid all rivers and beaches for at least two days after heavy rain.

“Water quality at affected sites is not considered suitable for recreational uses including swimming because of the risk to health from the bacteria and other pathogens,” Dr Cheryl Brunton, South Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says.

If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water before cooking. For further information on gathering Mahinga Kai refer to information below.

Water contaminated by human or animal faecal matter may contain a range of disease causing micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa.

“In most cases the ill-health effects from exposure to contaminated water are minor and short-lived. However, there is the potential for more serious diseases, such as hepatitis A, or salmonella infection,” Dr Brunton says.

The sites where water quality is affected are listed on Environment Canterbury’s website, she says.

ENDS

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