Heavy rain events have caused bacteria contamination of popular swimming and seafood gathering locations in Northland.
Northland Regional Council monitors most of the popular swimming spots in the Northland region over the summer season, from the beginning of November to the end of March.
“Testing at the end of last week has indicated bacteria in a number of waterways across Northland, therefore, we strongly advise that people do not swim or gather shellfish where warnings are in place,” noted Northland DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Jose Ortega Benito.
“It is also important to note that the test results are only a snapshot of conditions at the time of testing, and if there has been heavy rain since it’s likely the water quality will be worse.”
It is also wise not to collect shellfish after heavy rain as storms may flush sewage overflow or farm run-off downstream which contaminates the water. After the water has run clear for a few days, shellfish should be safe to collect again.
“We recommend that people do not swim or collect shellfish after heavy rain events such as the events we have been experiencing in the last few weeks.”
Please also be aware of other natural risks such as stingrays, jellyfish, tidal rips, holes and unexpectedly deep water, especially on the west coast beaches.
You can check your favourite swimming spot at this link https://www.nrc.govt.nz/swimming(external link)
For further information contact:
Paula Martin, Communications Officer
Phone (09) 4304101 ext 60519 Paula.Martin@northlanddhb.org.nz