Warnings over water quality
Porirua residents were again warned to keep out of the water last week because of high bacterial counts from heavy rainfall.
Greater Wellington Regional Council issued a warning on June 13 advising people to stay out of Porirua Harbour as well as at Titahi Bay and Plimmerton Beach after heavy rain flushed contaminants from land into the water.
Swallowing water with a high faecal count may cause shortterm effects, such as diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms, as well as potentially pose long-term health effects.
A council spokesman said the warning was based on readings taken in Porirua Harbour on two consecutive days just over a week earlier.
The readings were 640 and 530 Colony Forming Units per 100 millilitres of water. The guideline for acceptable amounts is 280 per 100ml.
Council staff expanded their area of concern because of persistent rain, ‘‘which we know adversely affects swimming water quality, even if a site normally has good water quality.’’
No specific readings were taken for Plimmerton and Titahi Bay. ‘‘But given our experience of these sites we took the precaution of urging caution around swimming in these locations.
‘‘They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems.’’
People were told to stay out of the water for 48 hours after rain.