Health & wellbeing  |  22 Nov 2019

People are being advised not to swim or eat shellfish from Takamatua Bay or Akaroa main beach because of high levels of faecal bacteria in the water.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: This health warning was lifted on Wednesday 27 November.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says water quality at Takamatua Bay and Akaroa main beach is not considered suitable for recreational use.

“This includes swimming because of the risk to health from the bacteria and other pathogens,” says Dr Humphrey.

Shellfish must not be collected from these areas. If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water before cooking.

Water contaminated by human or animal faecal matter may contain a range of disease causing micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa. 

“In most cases the ill-health effects from exposure to contaminated water are minor and short-lived. However, there is the potential for more serious diseases, such as hepatitis A, or salmonella infection,” Dr Humphrey says.

Environment Canterbury will continue to monitor both Takamatua Bay and Akaroa Main Beach and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance.

The sites where water quality is affected are listed on Environment Canterbury’s website.