“Is it safe to swim in Auckland this Labour Weekend?”

It’s Labour Weekend, a time when some Aucklanders traditionally take to the water for their first dip of the season.

If you see a green pin on Safeswim, that means we’re confident that there are no issues there,” Vigar told Stuff heading into the long weekend.

“If you see a black pin, the matter is a little more complex.”

“It’s been really high where it’s discarding directly into the harbour, but that’s not been reaching beaches.”

On Friday, there were black pins across most of the Waitematā Harbour which meant there was not the certainty to give the all clear, and the black pins coincide with a rāhui, Vigar said.

The rāhui was put in place across the Waitematā by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to address the environmental impacts of the sewer collapse, he said.

“When you see a green pin on Safeswim, it means we’ve got good evidence that the water quality is fine. We tend to err on the side of caution.”

Public health advice is also to check the Safeswim website before heading onto the water for recreational activities, Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Northern region medical officer of health, David Sinclair said.

“Public health advice on avoiding shellfish collection around the whole harbour still remains, and people should not collect shellfish until four weeks after the discharge event has ended,” Sinclair said.

Watercare chief operations officer Mark Bourne said the bypass was running smoothly and by Friday morning wastewater overflows at Mechanics Bay and at the western end of Wynyard Basin had stopped.

“If there is rain over the weekend, there is a chance of overflows of combined wastewater and stormwater into the Waitematā Harbour, because some of the catchments that feed into the Ōrākei Main Sewer are combined wastewater/stormwater networks,” Bourne said.

Overflows from combined networks were commonplace in wet weather, but would be more frequent than normal until wastewater was flowing through the Ōrākei Main Sewer again, he said.

The temporary pump station could handle flows up to 600 litres per second, but was more susceptible to blockages than standard network pumps, Bourne said.

It was more important than ever for people to only flush the 3Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper – and no wet wipes or other rubbish, he said.

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