A swimming warning on Pandora Pond in Napier is back in place following today’s test results which again shows high levels of bacteria in the pond.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Nicholas Jones said he wanted to keep the swim warning lifted, but it was clear the situation was more complex than previously thought.
“We need to take a precautionary approach because the risk to people’s health, with the level of bacteria is too high, Dr Jones said.
The New Zealand guidelines note that risks at the reported level of 302 enterococci (bacteria) per 100ml would equate to roughly 1 in 15 people who swim in the pond getting a gastro illness, and about 1 in 30 people getting a respiratory infection.
“We apologise to everyone who uses the pond and has events planned this weekend, but we must make people aware of the risk to their health.
“The close monitoring and fluctuating levels means we have identified an issue, with the pond, that requires much more thorough investigation. We won’t agree to lift the swim warning until we are confident bacteria levels have consistently returned to normal.” Dr Jones said.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council Group Manager Resource Management Iain Maxwell supported Dr Jones’ decision and is ensuring HBRC science staff continue to investigate the problem to try and determine the cause.
If anyone is feeling sick after swimming in the pond they should see their doctor, and mention they have been swimming in the pond.
High levels of bacteria were detected in a regular weekly water sample taken from Pandora Pond earlier this week by Hawke's Bay Regional Council staff. HBRC informed the Hawke's Bay District Health Board and Napier City Council and then immediately undertook two consecutive re-samples.
More information on where to go for medical care can be found http://ourhealthhb.nz/choose-well/where-should-i-go/ or people can call Healthline 0800 611 116 for free, for advice from a trained registered nurse