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Temporary health warning placed in parts of Hobson Bay

Published: 12 March 2020

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City stream falls foul to contaminants

Auckland Council is placing a health warning in locations near where Newmarket Stream flows into Hobson Bay advising people to avoid contact with the water.

Auckland Council and Watercare have responded to recent odour complaints by conducting water sampling in Newmarket and nearby streams. The results conclude there are currently very high levels of E.coli bacteria in Newmarket Stream, believed to be coming from wastewater merging with the stormwater network.

“I am deeply saddened water quality at the Newmarket stream has become this bad. The safety of our community is paramount, and I hope people abide by the warning signage which has been erected. I am advised our water targeted rate funding will be prioritised to remediate work here with urgency,” says Councillor Desley Simpson.

Auckland Council’s Environmental Health team have issued a temporary health warning to ensure members of the public stay clear of the water. Warning signs have been placed at the tidal inlets running through Ayr Reserve, Thomas Bloodworth Park, Shore Road Reserve, Waitaramoa Reserve, Newmarket Park and Portland Road Reserve. It is strongly advised that people avoid contact with the water in and around these locations until further notice.

Waitematā Local Board chair Richard Northey says the Newmarket Stream has been the centre of an energetic community-led restoration programme, supported by the local board.

“It’s disappointing to learn that community restoration efforts have been jeopardised by wastewater contamination.

"We're pleased Watercare and Auckland Council are taking prompt action and we look forward to the results of their investigation and next steps to protect the stream. I hope this area can be made safe for public use again soon”, he says.

Further investigations are being conducted to identify where the wastewater is coming from to find solutions to rectify the issue.

The nearest Safeswim swimming sites are at Judges Bay and Ōkahu Bay. Neither of these sites are at risk from this contamination. Auckland Council and Watercare will update progress.

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