Warning: Steer Clear of Wellington Harbour and South Coast

29 December 2010

Swimmers and other recreational users of Wellington Harbour and waters off Wellington's South Coast are warned to stay out of the water for another 24 hours following contamination caused by yesterday's heavy rain.

Pollution-warning signs have been erected in Lyall Bay and around Moa Point after sewage, heavily diluted by stormwater, was discharged down the long outfall from the Moa Point treatment plant at the height of the storm.

Wellington City Council urges people to stay clear of the water until tomorrow.

Dr Stephen Palmer, Medical Officer of Health at Regional Public Health, says caution is the best approach and recommended that people do not swim in coastal recreational waters adjacent to urban areas for 48 hours after heavy rainfall because of potential adverse public health effects from stormwater and sewage overflow contamination.

The Council, working in conjunction with Regional Public Health, has done water-quality sampling and will continue to do so over the next few days.