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
Join the Conversation
- Sex Change Surgery Gets Enhanced Cover From US Insurance Firms: Obama Regime's Policy Change Became The Trigger
- Chilling: Ebola Spreads Through Sneeze and Cough Droplets And Toilet Seats
- Red Cross Aussie Nurse Says Australia’s Ebola Visa Ban Is Embarrassing
- From 30-Inch To 16-Inch Waistline, Woman Shrinks Self With Corset [Video]
- New Zealand PM Calls Homeopathic Remedy For Ebola 'Barking Mad'
- Nokia Lumia 730 v. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Motorola Droid Turbo: Comparsion On Processor, Software And Battery
- Australia Special Forces Await 'Delayed' Iraqi Visas Before Joining ISIS Fight
- ISIS Has Been Equipped With Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Motorola Droid Turbo – S-Pen Is Note’s 4 USP But Droid Turbo Can Outshine With Larger Battery
- 8 Important Things to Consider Before Buying or Upgrading to iPad Air 2
- Canada’s Official ISIS Mission Starts On Weekend; Kuwait Uneasy