Te Mana Ora (Community and Public Health) is warning people to avoid contact with beaches, rivers and floodwaters for two days.
Dr Matthew Reid, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the recent heavy rain has resulted in added pressure on sewerage systems, and overflows into many waterways.
“Flood waters may have been contaminated with sewage and the most important thing to remember when cleaning up is to practise basic hand hygiene,” Dr Reid says.
“Always wash your hands using soap after being in contact with contaminated water, and after cleaning up areas affected by flooding. It’s also important not to allow children to play in flood-affected areas until the clean-up is complete.
“In general people should avoid rivers and beaches for at least two days after any significant rainfall event. It’s not safe to drink water from rivers or use the rivers or estuary for recreational activities.”
For more detailed information on flooding and health please visit the Manatū Hauora/Ministry of Health website: