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Rain brings warning over Napier estuary

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/04/2017

Napier residents are being warned against swimming or collecting shellfish in the Ahuriri Estuary after it was confirmed to have high levels of E-coli.

The increase in harmful bacteria came about after heavy rain overloaded sections of the city's sewage network last week and part of the stormwater flow was temporarily diverted into a drain leading into the estuary.

Medical officer of health Dr Nicholas Jones says Saturday testing confirmed the high levels of E-coli.

He said anyone swimming in contaminated water risked contracting stomach, skin, eye and ear infections.

While collecting seafood in the Ahuriri Estuary was never recommended, he said the risks were higher than normal because of the wastewater overflows.

The overflows had not affected other Napier swimming spots, Dr Jones said, but residents should avoid swimming in all fresh waterways, such as lagoons, streams, and rivers, for at least three days after heavy rain.

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