A significant level of animal and human faecal matter found in Waipuka Stream at Ocean Beach has led to a public health warning by the Hawke's Bay District Health Board.
The DHB's medical officer of health, Nicholas Jones, issued the warning for people not to swim in Waipuka Stream because of high levels of contamination found in the water.
Monitoring by Hawke's Bay Regional Council identified high levels of enterococci in water samples taken on Monday and Tuesday this week.
The samples significantly exceed the maximum levels recommended in the Recreational Water Guidelines and indicated, at the time of sampling, excessive amounts of faecal matter, either animal or human, were in the water.
"When bacteria levels in the water exceed national guidelines there is a greater risk of skin, ear and eye infections and stomach illness," Dr Jones said.
The regional council would take further samples and Hastings District Council would further assess the waterway and put up warning signs.
Water sampling will be ongoing and the public will be advised if there is any change.
For the latest water-quality information, phone 0800 B4U SWIM line (0800 248 7946) or check the Hawke's Bay Regional Council website www.hbrc.govt.nz.