29 Mar 2019

Raw sewage makes Wellington swim site unsafe

1:56 pm on 29 March 2019

Swimmers are being warned to stay out of the water in Wellington's inner harbour due to raw sewage contamination.

Warning signs have gone up around the affected area.

Warning signs have gone up around the affected area. Photo: RNZ / Adriana Weber

A spokesperson for the Greater Wellington Regional Council said recent testing of the stormwater near Taranaki Street Wharf - between Whairepo Lagoon and the waterfront area around Shed 6 - had shown very high levels of faecal bacteria.

Entering water that is contaminated as such could cause an infection of eyes, ears, nose and throat; or diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.

Warning signs have been posted in the area and online, which will remain in place until testing shows that water quality has returned to safe levels.

However, those wanting to swim in the harbour are asked to enter at Oriental Bay or at a distance further from the inner harbour.

The council said the source of the contamination appeared to be illegal connections between sewerage and stormwater pipes, leading to the contamination of harbour water near the stormwater outlet.

Wellington Water is continuing to investigate the situation.

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