Hawkes Bay District Health Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nicholas Jones, today issued a warning to the public that, due to contamination, they should not swim or have contact with the Waipuku Stream at Ocean Beach until further notice.
Monitoring by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has identified high levels of E. coli & Enterococci in water samples taken on 2 February 2015. The levels exceed the maximum values recommended in the national 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.
Dr Jones said the Waipuka Stream had been graded as having very poor water quality using the Ministry for Environment ‘suitability for recreation’ grading system. This means people should avoid swimming in the stream at all times. “However events like this serve as a reminder of this stream's poor grading,” he said.
Previous testing by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council suggested droppings from wild geese and ruminants such as sheep, cattle and goats are the source of contamination. The regional council will undertake further testing to assess whether the high levels of bacteria are still occurring, and to identify the likely source of the contamination. HBRC will resample daily until the samples are clear.
People can phone the B4USWIM Safe Swimming Line - (06) 878 1368 - or check the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website www.hbrc.govt.nz or the national Land & Water Aotearoa website www.lawa.org.nzfor the latest water quality information.