Moa Point Overflow: Steer Clear of Lyall Bay

31 December 2011

Swimmers and surfers are warned to stay out of the water in Lyall Bay following an overflow at the Moa Point sewage treatment plant today. The overflow has been caused by today's heavy and persistent rainfalls.

The inflow into Moa Point has been boosted by large volumes of stormwater today - and this has exceeded the facility's treatment capacity. As a result, heavily-diluted and partially-treated sewage is being pumped out of the outfall pipe that stretches 1.8 kilometres into Cook Strait.

Temporary warning signs have been erected at Lyall Bay to warn people about possible health risks. The Council has also alerted Regional Public Health.

While the volumes of sewage entering the sea are relatively small, people are advised to exercise caution and stay out of the water until testing of water samples establishes that water quality is at safe levels.

Samples have been taken today and the results will likely be available on Monday.

Swimmers and surfers are advised that, in general, it is wise to stay out of the harbour and coastal waters around urban areas for at least 48 hours after heavy rainfall. This is due to the 'cocktail' of contaminants that can be washed into the sea in stormwater from city streets and other sources.