The Community and
Public Health division of Canterbury District Health Board is advising people to
avoid using the estuary north of Penguin Street until Saturday.
The advisory comes
as a result of a failure of an earthquake weakened pump that has led to a brief
sewage overflow into the Avon river at Pages Road today (November 23, 2011).
City Council expects this to be fixed by tonight but Canterbury Medical Officer
of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey has advised
people to avoid using the estuary north of Penguin Street until the
“Water contaminated by human
faecal bacteria may contain a range of disease causing micro-organisms such as
viruses, bacteria and protozoa,” Dr Humphrey says.
“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, giardia,
cryptosporosis, campylobacter and salmonella.”
Dr Humphrey says the public
should be reminded that there will still be the occasional, short duration
discharges of untreated sewage into the rivers as a result of problems
encountered during repairs to pumping stations and pipes for some time.
“When such events occur the
public will be kept informed through warnings on the Environment Canterbury
website and facebook page and public warnings through the media,” he says.
For more information about the
water quality at swimming sites in Canterbury visit the Environment Canterbury
website or facebook site.
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