Owhiro Bay deemed safe again

Owhiro Bay on Wellington's South Coast has been deemed safe for swimming again after a a massive spike in a diarrhoea-causing bacteria was recorded.

Greater Wellington Regional Council issued the safety alert for the bay saying the water posed an unacceptable health risk.

But this afternoon the bay was again declared safe for swimming after follow-up testing revealed the spike had been an anomaly - possibly due to a large swarm of seagulls or ducks or the presence of dog faeces, Wellington City Council spokesman Clayton Anderson said.

Council officers had checked sewage and stormwater pipes as possible sources of contamination but found no cracks or leaks.

Levels of enterococci - a bacteria and indicator of microbiological pollution, including sewage - were about four times the safe limit for swimming when the last reading was made earlier this week.

Health problems associated with the ingestion of contaminated water include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting. Cuts and skin lesions can also become infected.


The Dominion Post