Contaminated Banks Peninsula beaches prompt warning

Water quality at Takamatua Bay and Akaroa's main beach has been deemed not suitable for...
Water quality at Takamatua Bay and Akaroa's main beach has been deemed not suitable for recreational use.
People are being told not to swim or eat shellfish at some Banks Peninsula beaches.

The Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning after high levels of faecal bacteria found in the water at Takamatua Bay and Akaroa's main beach.

Medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey said the water quality is not considered suitable for recreational use.

“This includes swimming because of the risk to health from the bacteria and other pathogens,” said Dr Humphrey.

He says shellfish must not be collected from these areas.

If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water before cooking.

Water contaminated by human or animal faecal matter may contain a range of disease-causing micro-organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa. 

“In most cases, the ill-health effects from exposure to contaminated water are minor and short-lived.

"However, there is the potential for more serious diseases, such as hepatitis A or salmonella infection."

Environment Canterbury will continue to monitor both beaches and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

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