The council is warning people to stay away from the tidal steps on Tauranga's waterfront after an unknown amount of wastewater overflowed from a pipe undergoing maintenance across the harbour.
This afternoon, Tauranga City Council issued a statement saying there had been a wastewater overflow at the end of the Matapihi Peninsula.
Council director of city waters Stephen Burton told the 'Bay of Plenty Times' the wastewater spilled on to Matapihi Rd and the Matapihi Rd carpark where it ran into a storm drain, vegetation, the beach and into the harbour.
Council staff were notified at 3pm of the overflow. It had since been stopped and contractors were cleaning up the area, Burton said.
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"As a precaution, signs at both Matapihi beach and the city centre Tidal Steps will ask people to stay out of the water until testing shows it is safe."
The area remained cordoned off with security guards in place until the clean-up was complete.
The overflow happened during routine maintenance of a valve. A review of maintenance procedures will be held, Burton said.
A council spokeswoman said it was not known how much wastewater overflowed.
The statement issued this afternoon said the council was "working with the local community and hapū to ensure public safety and health and we ask that the public please stay away from this area."
Wastewater from this network has been diverted to Chapel St.