The Community and Public Health division of
Canterbury District Health Board is reminding people to avoid beaches and rivers, following the heavy rain that fell
across the region earlier this week.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair
Humphrey says the heavy rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday is likely to result in added pressure on an already
weakened sewerage system.
“People should avoid rivers and the beaches for
at least two days after heavy rain,” Dr Humphrey says.
“This means it’s not safe to
drink water from rivers or use the river or estuary for recreational use such as
swimming, boating or fishing.”
There are still sewage discharges into the
Estuary/Ihutai, the Avon/Otakaro and Heathcote/Opawaho rivers and at Scarborough
Beach. Tests show these sites contain high levels of human pathogens, such as
Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Clostridium, Campylobacter,
E.coli and viruses.
“It is still important not to go in the water in
the rivers or the estuary, or between Cave Rock and Scarborough,” Dr Humphrey
“It is likely to be at least another month
before these discharges have stopped and the water has become safe, but
hopefully surfers and others should be able to use the Scarborough waves over
the summer holidays.”
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