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.

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