Tauranga waterways contaminated

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Sewer overflows during the weekend's heavy rain have contaminated water around Tauranga and the council has issued a warning for people to avoid all waterways.

All waterways including the harbour, open drains, streams and any area where flood water has collected should be treated as potentially contaminated, Tauranga City Council communications advisor Marcel Currin said.

Pilot Bay, Matura foreshore, Waimapu Estuary and Waikareao Estuary have been affected by sewer overflows.

Contamination could also be from from flood water that has been through industrial areas, garages and storage sheds.   The Chapel St overflow was a controlled release of treated wastewater from the Chapel St plant. Mr Currin said it was necessary for to release water for about 30 minutes on Saturday morning after the treatment plant became overwhelmed with double the usual volume of water that was entering the wastewater system.

Health warning signs have been installed at the affected areas. Water quality testing will be done this week.

Please note it is always recommend that people stay out of the harbour for at least 48 hours after heavy rain due to potential contaminant run off from roads and urban areas.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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