Swimmers, surfers asked to avoid Lawyers Head

Swimmers and surfers should avoid the waters around Lawyers Head until further notice, the Dunedin City Council says.

Water and Waste Services Manager Dr Laura McElhone said the council and Public Health South would like to remind the public about signs currently in the Lawyers Head area which advise against swimming, collecting shellfish, or contact with sea water due to the results of recent water quality testing.

Dr McElhone says none of the other city beaches are affected.

It was unclear why the higher Enterococci readings have occurred, but it was probably due to natural environmental conditions, such as hot weather and a high number of sea birds in the area, she said.

Public Health South Medical Officer of Health Dr Marion Poore said people need to be aware that if they are in contact with the water, they could get gastroenteritis.

Dr McElhone said the UV disinfection plant at the Tahuna Wastewater Treatment Plant was working and there was nothing to indicate the higher readings were linked to the plant.

There will be daily testing at Lawyers Head until the readings have dropped to acceptable levels.

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