Warning to swimmers and surfers

Surfers and swimmers have been advised to stay out of the water around Lawyers Head in Dunedin after samples taken this week showed contamination limits for swimming were breached.

The samples were taken on Tuesday and Wednesday and were dropping, but the Dunedin City Council and Public Health South advised against swimming, collecting shellfish, or contact with seawater, due to the results of recent water-quality testing in the area.

Council water and waste services manager Dr Laura McElhone said none of the other city beaches were affected and it was unclear why the higher Enterococci readings had occurred, but it was likely to be due to natural environmental conditions, such as hot weather and a high number of sea birds in the area.

The ultraviolet disinfection plant at the Tahuna Wastewater Treatment Plant was operational and there was nothing to indicate the higher readings were linked to the Tahuna plant, she said.

Public Health South medical officer of health Dr Marion Poore said people need to be aware that if they were in contact with the water, they were at risk of getting gastroenteritis.

All other beaches were showing very low counts.

There would be daily testing at Lawyers Head until the readings had dropped to acceptable levels.

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