(Last updated 2 December 2013)
Water quality remains particularly contaminated downstream of Swanns Road where a previous issue with a sewer main in Richmond resulted in a discharge of untreated wastewater to the Avon River/Ōtākaro in the vicinity of the Swanns Road bridge. Contact with water in the river should be avoided.
Water at all waterways and beaches is now suitable for recreational use as usual
However, contamination of sediment can remain long after the water quality has returned to "pre-event" status. Due to sewage-impacted river sediments retaining pathogens, people may become exposed to pathogens when sediments are resuspended.
Recreational users are advised to avoid contact with water containing sediment they have stirred up. People should also avoid contact with all these waterways for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.
The Medical Officer of Health, Alistair Humphrey, recommends the following cleaning/washing procedure after water-based recreational activity following the removal of warnings for Christchurch Rivers and Estuary.
Recreational water activity at beaches is not currently a problem
There may still be occasional, short duration discharges of untreated sewage into waterways as a result of problems encountered during further repairs to sewerage infrastructure. When such events occur the public will be kept informed through warning signs that will be erected at the location, warnings on this webpage, the Environment Canterbury page on Facebook and public warnings through the media.
Routine monitoring at popular freshwater and coastal sites in Canterbury is being undertaken over the 2013–14 summer and this monitoring began on 19 November 2013. Read more about the water quality at swimming sites in Canterbury.
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