It was a blissful Hawke's Bay beach day.
The sun was out, the water looked clear, and Julia Hughes was at Waipatiki Beach when it was decided her young kids could go into the lagoon for a splash around.
After a week of her tots fighting serious illness and fever, she wishes she'd been given some sort of warning.
The Haumoana woman says after studying up about the lagoon's history of failing water quality tests, she believes it was likely the lagoon that caused the illnesses.
And she says tourists who don't instinctively know the region's unsafe swimming spots could be at similar risk this summer.
Hughes and her family, along with another young family, ventured towards the lagoon with several other people around on Saturday, November 9.
Five days before that, Hawke's Bay Regional Council staff tested the water and deemed it clear to swim.
But just two days later, November 11, the same test deemed the water unsafe due to high E. coli readings.
The lagoon was then updated as unsafe to swim according to the LAWA (Land, Air, Water, Aotearoa) website.
"It was a gorgeous day so we made the trip, us and another couple with four kids between us, and we went to the lagoon because it looked safe for the kids to swim and there were plenty of other people there too," Hughes said.
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"It wasn't till we got home and a day or so passed that the kids got really sick, they were vomiting and running a bit of a fever also."
She said at a couple of moments early last week she got quite concerned because all the kids were no older than 2, - two 2-year-olds, a 9-month-old and a 3-month-old.
"They just seemed to be constantly throwing up and running fevers and being so young I was getting concerned how dangerous it was," Hughes said.
The children have since managed to slowly recover, but Hughes said that although they live in Hawke's Bay they had no idea of the water issues at the lagoon.
"During the week when we talked to people it started to seem quite clear that the area was well known for its water issues, but we had no idea, me and my partner both grew up here and swam down at the beach all the time," Hughes said.
"We didn't see any kind of warning of signs to let people know that it could potentially unsafe and if you're not a local it seems like you would have no idea because there is nothing to tell you otherwise."
The group entered Waipatiki from the local campground where she didn't see any signs, and has since been told that they only get put up if authorities receive a positive test from the water making it unsafe to swim.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Nicholas Jones said fresh water bathing areas can become contaminated following rainfall events.
A quick test to decide whether to swim in fresh waterways, such as lagoons, streams or rivers, was to check whether you could see your feet when knee deep in the water.
"Test results taken at Waipatiki Lagoon on Monday, 4 November were clear. However, test results from Monday, 11 November show the site did not meet the water quality standards," Jones said.
"A second test on Tuesday, 12 November also shows the site did not meet water quality standards. Due to environmental fluctuations the DHB is awaiting full results from a third test undertaken on November 14."
He said Hawke's Bay Regional Council had also taken a faecal source tracking sample to try and identify what the source may have been.
"If additional test results still reveal contamination, a public health warning will be issued and signs will be erected."
Jones said between November and March, water quality testing is also carried out in popular freshwater recreational swimming spots and uploaded to the Land Air Water Aotearoa's (LAWA) website.
Hawke's Bay's testing and results are managed by the regional council with tests taken every Monday and uploaded to LAWA.
Hughes says next time they go swimming they will double check the status of the swimming hole.
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"I encourage everyone to use this resource before swimming in our freshwater locations," Jones said.
"However, the risk of swimming on any given day may be quite different to the risk on the day water samples are taken and the most important indicator of suitability for swimming is the overall risk classification. This can be seen by switching the LAWA indicator to 'Overall bacterial risk'."
Anyone feeling unwell following swimming in a freshwater location should see a doctor and advise where they were swimming.
People can also call Heathline for free on 0800 611 116 to speak with a registered nurse any time of the day or night, seven days a week.