Otago Regional Council (ORC) water quality samples taken from Frankton Bay at Lake Wakatipu have shown high levels of the bacteria E. coli. Frankton Bay is one of the 25 sites monitored on a weekly basis for bacteria levels as part of its Contact Recreation monitoring programme.
Government water quality guidelines for recreational swimming areas are that those with less than 260 E. coli/100 ml should be safe, whereas water with more than 550 E. coli/100 ml indicates a potential health risk. ORC’s most recent sampling in the area showed E. coli levels at 921/100 ml.
ORC are collecting further water samples for testing. The results are expected to be available on Monday.
Signage advising against swimming has been installed at Frankton Bay this morning.
Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Keith Reid, says people should avoid swimming in the area until water sampling tests indicate it is safe.
Exposure to E. coli can result in gastroenteritis symptoms within 12 to 18 hours of exposure.
“Anyone who swims in the area should wash down with soapy water,” he said. “Limiting exposure and practicing good hand hygiene remains the best defence against infection of this kind.”
To find out more about the water quality at your local swimming site, contact ORC or visit: www.lawa.org.nz/swim.
Further details of our water quality monitoring site at Frankton Bay can also be found on LAWA’s website: /explore-data/otago-region/swimming/lake-wakatipu-at-frankton-bay/swim-site