Hawke’s Bay’s District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nicholas Jones, today issued a warning to remind the the public that people should not swim in the Puhokio Stream at Waimarama.
Monitoring by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has identified high levels of E. coli in water samples taken on 12 and 14 December 2016. The levels exceed the maximum values recommended in the Recreational Water Guidelines and indicate that, at the time of sampling, there were excessive amounts of faecal matter, either animal or human in the water.
“The stream has previously been given a grade of very poor suitability for swimming and the recent very high levels of contamination are a reminder. It is easy to see how parents might think the stream is a safer option for young children but unfortunately there is a risk of children getting sick. The beach, on the other hand, has very good quality water for swimming, remembering that young children need to be supervised for safety reasons” said Dr Jones.
Hastings District Council has erected warning signage against swimming in the Puhokio Stream and are investigating the potential causes of the contamination.
Some other bathing areas showed brief increases in contamination earlier in the week following rainfall. These results provide a reminder that people should avoid all fresh 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. As a general rule all water should be checked before swimming to see that the water is clear - a quick test is to check whether you can see your feet when knee deep in the water
16 December 2016
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