Health warning for Scarborough Beach

Sunday May 22, 2011

​​The Community and Public Health division of Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning for Scarborough Beach, following recent notification of a localised breakage in the sewerage system in the area.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says water at this beach is now unsuitable for recreational use and the area is now closed to recreational use.

“Unfortunately, because of this recent breakage, raw sewage is now flowing into the storm-water drain, which empties into the sea at Scarborough Beach just below Scarborough Hill,” Dr Pink says.

The Christchurch City Council advises that the breakage of the sewerage system will take about two weeks to fix temporarily and up to three months to fix permanently.

“The public will be informed when monitoring indicates that the water is safe to re-enter. Until then the public are advised not to swim at Scarborough Beach between Cave Rock and Scarborough Hill. Signs are in place to advise the public of this risk,” Dr Pink says.

Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council have been monitoring a range of coastal sites over the last six weeks to track levels of bacterial contamination.

“Water testing results show faecal bacteria levels at Waimairi Beach, North Beach, New Brighton Beach, South Brighton Beach and Sumner Beach remain low and the water is safe to enter, Dr Pink says.

“People should however avoid swimming at the beaches for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.”

Meanwhile, health warnings remain in place for the waterways of the Avon/Otakaro and the Heathcote/Opawaho rivers and the Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai. There are still direct sewage discharges into these rivers and into the estuary.

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

Page last reviewed: 14 February 2014