Don’t swim in flood water warning

It’s best to avoid swimming in rivers, streams, beaches and harbour areas for 48 hours after heavy rain. Photo: Supplied.

The public are reminded to avoid swimming in streams, rivers and beaches for 48 hours after heavy rain because of possible contamination.

“After heavy rain there is likely to be contamination from rural and urban run-off” says Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health, Dr Neil de Wet.

“To avoid illnesses such as diarrhoea, vomiting, skin infections or ear infections, it's best to avoid swimming in rivers, streams, beaches and harbour areas for at least 48 hours after heavy rainfall events.”

In some areas, especially in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, there has been surface flooding.  Dr de Wet advises residents to avoid contact with surface flood water as it may be contaminated with farm run off or possibly septic tank and sewage overflows. 

“It is especially important to ensure children don't play in or swim in surface flood water as it can contain hidden hazards as well as causing illnesses,” says Neil.

The warning follows heavy rain in much of the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts. Standard public health advice is to always avoid swimming in streams, rivers and beaches for 48 hours after heavy rain.

For general public health advice related to flooding visit.



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Sunset turning the water pink. Photo: Lee Badham.

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