Wellington Scoop

Rain clears poison from Hutt River – but no-swim warning in Wainui

News from Regional Council
Recent rain has flushed toxic algae from the Hutt River/Te Awakairangi and the Greater Wellington Regional Council has given the all-clear for people to use it for recreation following an assessment today.

“The heavy rainfall over the weekend resulted in seven times the median flow, enough to flush the river, and our latest assessment confirm that the significant growth found before Christmas has for the most part disappeared,” says Greater Wellington Environmental Scientist – Freshwater – Dr Mark Heath.

“People can now swim and walk their dogs in the confidence that the river’s water no longer presents any danger from swallowing toxic algae.

“Given the dry summer, however, it is possible that toxic algae may recur so we urge people to check before they swim by visiting Greater Wellington’s website and reviewing the interactive maps that show the condition of our river, lake and coastal waters.”

Signs warning of toxic algae will be removed over the next 24 hours.

A no-swim warning remains in place at Richard Prouse Park in Wainuiomata with an investigation going on for high levels of E-coli.

Wellington.Scoop – January 5
The Regional Council is today warning against swimming in three regional rivers. Its advice: “please take extreme caution.” There are warnings also for swimmers to stay out of the water at Kapiti coast beaches and waterways.

News from Regional Council
Hutt River – remains unsafe south of where the Akatarawa Tributary meets with the Hutt River.

Wainuiomata River – unsafe for swimming. There are high levels of e-coli bacteria in the water, take caution and wait 48 hours after rain before you swim again.

Ruamahunga River – unsafe for swimming due to high e-coli bacteria. Te Ore Ore and at The Cliffs have high risks, whilst south of these locations are at moderate risks, take caution and wait 48 hours after rain before you swim again.

Otaki and Waikanae Rivers – both rivers have very low levels of toxic algae, and are safe for swimming. They both have large amounts of harmless green and diatom algae.

Akatarawa, Whakatikei and Mangaroa Rivers – safe for swimming, but keep an eye out for toxic algae

Pakuratahi River – is now open for swimming. The entire Pakuratahi River is swimmable down to where it joins the Hutt River at Pakuratahi Forks – this includes the Kaitoke Regional Park

Petone Beach – safe to swim. There are some marine ‘mirco algae’ present, but it is completely safe

News from Kapiti Council
The Kāpiti Coast District Council reminds people who are enjoying our wonderful beaches, rivers and streams this weekend to avoid swimming in them for 48 hours following the heavy rain.

Environmental Standards Team Leader Richard Hopkins says levels of bacteria are likely to be higher in these areas due to the recent rain, and flushing of waterways after the long dry spell makes it important that people follow advise to avoid getting sick.

“We know this is frustrating as it’s pretty warm out there but there are plenty of other great places to take a dip in Kāpiti. The Waikanae Pool, revamped Ōtaki Pool and splashpad and Coastlands Aquatic Centre are all open.”

Dog owners are also advised to remain vigilant and to keep their pets on-leash near our streams and rivers due to the increased levels of bacteria. Test results from popular river, lagoon and beach locations are on the Council’s website.