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Browns Bay beach swimmable again

Published: 3 December 2019

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Warning signs come down at Brown Bay beach

The water quality issues in Browns Bay have been resolved just in time for summer.

Recent issues with our network had caused poor water quality at the beach. Pipes contributing to the problem have been repaired and water quality testing has revealed the improved water quality status.

“Resolving the problem of the damaged pipes and making Browns Bay safe to swim in again is good news,” says Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

"The problem highlights the need for the big investment the council is making in improving infrastructure and stopping the intrusion of stormwater into wastewater causing it to overflow.

“With the targeted rate on water quality, we will bring forward by 20 years the work we need to do, and ensure our beaches are clean and swimmable.

“In the meantime, Safeswim is an important initiative to inform Aucklanders where and when they can swim safely.”

Browns Bay will now display the familiar ‘green pin’ on the Safeswim website from today during dry weather and after low rainfall. As with most beaches, it will display a ‘red pin’ after heavy rainfall.

Since October, people have been warned not to swim at Browns Bay beach as the council’s water quality improvement programme found a stormwater outlet to be contaminated. Water samples taken at the stormwater outlet near the beach, reveal there were elevated levels of e. coli discharging.

“We understand it has been frustrating for locals who haven’t been able to swim at their beach for the last few weeks. However, this problem and its fix have demonstrated the importance of our water quality improvement programme that monitors the water quality at stormwater outlets," explains Nick Vigar Auckland Council Safeswim programme manager.

"Without this programme, the significant issues at Browns Bay would have gone undetected.”

A discharge from the stormwater network generally indicates damaged pipes or illegal cross-connections from wastewater to stormwater. In this case, the damaged pipes have now been fixed.

Warning signs at the outlet have now been taken down. The results of water quality samples taken on Friday confirm the water quality is now compliant with recreational guidelines during low-risk periods of dry weather.

Always check safeswim.org.nz to know when and where to swim.

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