Be careful swimming after recent big rains

Horizons Regional Council warns on 17 December 2021, 2:55 PM: Horizons swim spots to be treated with caution following week’s rain:

…due to the recent heavy rainfall the Manawatū-Whanganui Region has experienced Horizons Regional Council is recommending people stay out of freshwater and coastal swim spots for at least the next three days.

Horizons environmental monitoring scientist Kelly Le Quesne says coastal and river sites are unsuitable for swimming as flooding events increases contamination in water.

“Faecal contamination in water is measured by testing for E.coli in our freshwater sites and Enterococci in our coastal sites. These indicator bacteria can increase significantly with high rainfall as contaminants from urban and rural settings are washed into waterways,” says Ms Le Quesne.

… “Even if LAWA is showing a swim spot is suitable for swimming you should still check the water when you get there.

“Check the water is clear, this means that you can see into the water. Check there is no debris (e.g. rocks, branches) especially after a rain event but also be cautious of how fast flowing and unpredictable water can be.

“If the water smells odd or is a strange colour (e.g. brown) it should be avoided. In general, do not go swimming within 3 days of rain and treat all flood water as contaminated.

“If you become sick after swimming call Public Health.

“If you do suspect a site is contaminated you can also call our pollution hotline on freephone 0508 800 800

Muddy brown river at the Footbridge on 14 December 2021.
Muddy brown river at the Footbridge on 14 December 2021.

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