This weekend and the coming days, we’re continuing to ask the public to heed advice to stay out of the Waitematā Harbour – no matter how great the water looks!
Watercare is hard at work building a bypass pipe and pump station to divert flows around the blockage, which will end or significantly reduce the overflows entering the harbour. Its role in the wastewater side of the business is about protecting the environment, and it’s one we know they take seriously.
Auckland Council’s Safeswim team is working closely with Watercare. This includes daily tests of the water quality across the Waitematā Harbour to assess the impact of the wastewater overflows at the beaches so everyone can get back in the water as soon as possible.
“Like all Aucklanders, we want everyone enjoying our waters once again. Thank you to the public for their patience and understanding as we work alongside Watercare to resolve this,” says Nicholas Vigar, Auckland Council Head of Planning (Healthy Waters).
“We encourage all Aucklanders to check safeswim.org.nz before heading out for a swim for the latest information. If one of your local beaches is not yet on Safeswim, please treat the same as all Safeswim sites in the Waitematā and do not swim.”
What are we doing?
As soon as the Safeswim team were made aware of the sewer blockage and wastewater discharges to the Waitematā Harbour, all the beaches within the Harbour were immediately issued with precautionary ‘black’ water quality alerts.
A black alert is used to indicate wastewater discharges to water and elevated health risk to beach users. Watercare and Auckland Council are working together to update Safeswim with black water quality alerts accordingly.
Auckland Council and Watercare also issued physical signs at approximately 20 popular beaches and wharves - including 4-5 signs at Mission Bay, where we are now.
We are continuing to take a precautionary approach, working with independent public health experts to assess the impacts of the wastewater overflows.
If you need your fix of swimming this weekend, try one of the beaches on the North Shore, around Howick or Bucklands Beach or Maraetai Beach – or head to one of our beautiful regional parks and make a trip of it with a picnic.