Parnell sinkhole: Authorities warn to stop all fishing in Waitemata Harbor as raw sewage contaminates water source

People have been warned to stop fishing in the Waitemata Harbor for nearly a month or risk becoming seriously ill after raw sewage stopped flowing into the water.

Watercare said a temporary bypass solution that came into effect last Tuesday appeared to have stopped the sewage overflow on Friday after a huge sinkhole opened up in Parnell and caused a wastewater pipe to collapse.

However, a Watercare spokesman said until the Ōrākei main sewer is repaired, small overflows during wet weather will become more frequent. herald.

Vincent Arbuckle, deputy director-general of food safety at New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries, warned people not to catch fish from contaminated areas or eat any seafood for at least 28 days once sewage stops flowing into the port.


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If contaminated seafood is eaten, it can cause gastroenteritis, which can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, Arbuckle said.

No swimming signs have appeared in Judges Bay following a sewer pipe break on St George's Bay Road. Photo/Michael Craig
No swimming signs have appeared in Judges Bay following a sewer pipe break on St George’s Bay Road. Photo/Michael Craig

Te Watuola National Public Health Northern Regional Medical Officer David Sinclair said the public was also advised to check the swimming safety website before heading to the port for any recreational activities.

A temporary bypass to tackle the leak came into operation last Tuesday after a 20-day emergency response, with Watercare saying the measures would significantly reduce the amount of overflow flowing into the port.

These bypass pumps do present a greater risk of blockage and Watercare urges people to be mindful of what is being flushed.


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The impact of a 13-metre deep sinkhole and collapsed waste pipe has resulted in a rāhui (ban) across the interior of Waitemata Harbour, which has been in place since September 28, with swimming and water quality warnings in place.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority said it was monitoring the situation with Auckland Council.

If you have eaten affected kai moana or have concerns, call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or contact your primary healthcare provider for advice.

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