Auckland's contaminated beaches

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:15 pm on 12 February 2018
A sewage leak to homes being evacuated in Auckland.

A sewage leak to homes being evacuated in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Nikki Mandow

If you're in Auckland or Nelson today and were thinking of going for a swim at the beach, think again.

Quite a number of beaches are unswimmable after downpours caused widespread sewage overflows in those two centres.

The Nelson City Council says untreated sewage and stormwater contaminants have flown into the Nelson Haven and Waimea Estuary. People there are advised to avoid all contact with the water in local beaches until further notice.

In Auckland more than 50 of the city's beaches are unswimmable or there are concerns about the water quality.

Watercare's chief operations officer Mark Bourne joins the show to explain how the sewage overflow has happened.

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