As we approach the school holidays and children head outdoors exploring our beautiful parks and streams here's some reminders about how to play safely in urban streams.
The water quality of our streams can be variable.
Stormwater run-off and other contaminants can affect the water quality of our urban streams.
While there are actions being taken by council and interest groups to improve the water quality in our streams, the water can contain ‘bugs’ that can make people sick. To keep people safe it’s important to follow the tips below.
Here are some tips on enjoying our streams safely:
- Children should always be supervised when playing in or around water.
- Always avoid contact with streams during heavy rain and for 48 hours after it stops raining.
- Never drink stream water.
- Always wash your hands after coming into contact with stream water and before eating.
- Keep stream water out of your eyes, ears, mouth, or any open sores. If your children are too young to understand these precautions please avoid contact with streams.
- Wading and exploring is ok, but the water in streams is not suitable for swimming. To check out the best places for swimming in our region see www.gw.govt.nz/is-it-safe-to-swim/
How you can help:
- Report cracked or leaking pipes (and if you spot a leak on your own property organise for a plumber to check the pipes as soon as possible).
- Make sure rubbish is not left near streams including picking up dog poo.
- Only rain should go down the drain - empty detergents and paintbrush residue onto the lawn, or tip down the sink, not into drains leading to stormwater.
- Wash cars on the lawn, or at an approved carwash.
- Use non-toxic pesticides and fertilisers on your gardens.
- Reduce run-off by using porous landscaping, such as bark chips or lawn.
For more information about our stormwater network and what should/should not go down it check out 'Where does it go?'