Owhiro Bay Beach Closed

15 March 2010

Owhiro Bay beach will stay closed until we find the cause of contamination in the water. We closed the beach on 17 February after contamination levels in the bay exceeded safe levels for the third time in a month.

Infrastructure Planning Manager Maria Archer says the quality of the water in the bay has fluctuated too much for us to feel comfortable opening the beach too soon.

"The water quality in Owhiro Stream has also been variable over the past few weeks. A lot of work is being done to find the source of pollution. We've found private sewer pipes illegally connected to the stormwater system and cracks on the public pipe system. These are fixed as they are found. We don't want to lift the 'closed beach' status until we are 100 percent sure that we know what is causing the contamination. We appreciate the tolerance and understanding of Owhiro Bay residents and beachgoers while we investigate the cause of the pollution."

Maria says intensive daily sampling is continuing at Owhiro Bay beach and Owhiro Stream and the water has been tested for seagull and dog droppings. The seagull test was negative and the results of the dog test should be known this week.