Fecal Matter Contaminates NZ Ocean Beach, Swimmers Warned of Health Risks
By Reissa Su | January 24, 2014 5:32 PM EST
Fecal matter is floating in New Zealand's Ocean Beach stream and swimmers have been warned to stay away from the water.
Authorities said the Waipuka Stream goes into the beach beside the popular swimming spot. Signs have been put up to warn bathers of water contamination and potential risks to health.
Two boys run into the surf as clouds gather above Manly Beach on a hot day in Sydney, November 3, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray
Dr Caroline McElnay, a medical officer of Hawke's Bay District, has issued a warning for the public not to swim in contaminated waters along the Waipatiki Beach stream and the lagoon near the Esk River.
The Hawke's Bay Regional Council has been monitoring the quality of water and found high levels of E.coli bacteria. The amount of bacteria exceeds the maximum values allowed by the Recreational Water Guidelines. When the council examined the water samples, high amounts of human and animal feces were observed.
The district council has immediately placed warning signs in specified areas. On Jan 1, officials declared the Waipuka Stream, Lake Tutira and the Puhokio Stream at Wainamara Beach as areas with disease risk.
Health protection officer Cameron Ormsby said E.coli is not considered harmful by itself but when it is detected, it is usually a sign that fecal matter is present. Mr Ormsby added that the Ministry of Environment usually has specified safe levels of bacteria. When bacteria levels exceeds the standards of the Ministry, people who will swim in contaminated waters will have a greater risk of developing ear, eye and skin infections as well as stomach illness.
According to Mr Ormsby, the spike in E.coli may be caused by heavy rains washing away sheep and cow droppings into a river or ocean. The exact sources of pollution are still being investigated.
The Auckland Council has also placed warning signs around another popular swimming spot in Judges Bay after high levels of bacteria were discovered in routine tests. A monitoring programme tests 63 beaches in Auckland to assess quality.
Marcus Herrmann, the regional and environmental control manager of Auckland Council, told media they have yet to confirm the source of contamination. Mr Herrmann clarified the beach is not closed but advised against anyone swimming in the water. The warning signs will only be taken down once the council will get normal readings.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt’s Top Secret Wedding Tramps Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Friends’ Reunion & Pregnancy Talks [PHOTOS]
- 2014 US Open: Hottest Male Tennis Players To Watch [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Boxing News 2014: 12 Days to Mayweather-Maidana Rematch; Money May’s Bikram Yoga Routine Includes Placing $100 Bills Around Mat
- Ebola: American Doctors in Liberia Trying Out New Methods
- 5 Deadly Reasons to Stay Away From Soda (Watch Video)
- Bill Clinton Credits Sugar-Free Diet For Weight Loss: A Vegan Diet If Not Followed Properly Can Cause Weight Gain
- The Secret Behind HIV Infection Found: Reasons Why It Could Not Be Eradicated
- Pricey iPhone 6 on Release Date Likely but with 3X Retina Resolution & Mobile Payment Service – Reports
- 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 is iPhone Air on Sept 19 Release Date: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying
- Google Nexus 8 Confirmed as HTC T1 aka Volantis/Flounder with Freshly-Leaked Specs & Features – Reports
- Nexus 6 Release Date Update: Moto X+1 Look Leaked, Nexus X or Shamu Moved to Demo Phase
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans
- iPhone 6 On Release Date To Feature Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE, 1GB RAM, Mobile Payment Deal With AMEX, 1334x750 Display
- Leaker of Actresses Nude Photos Accepting PayPal Donations in Exchange For Posting Alleged Sex Video of Jennifer Lawrence, Has Naked Pictures of 100 Hollywood A-Listers