A 200 metre section of sea water at Christies Beach near Christie Creek is temporarily closed for swimming today, after a sludge overflow from the nearby Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant caused by an illegal break-in overnight.
Initial investigations indicate the sludge is contained to the creek, but as a precaution the sea water 100 metres either side of the creek should not be used for swimming.
SA Water crews have begun cleaning up the spill from the creek and will work with the Environment Protection Authority to ensure the creek is cleaned, and with SA Health to ensure the water quality is safe for swimmers.
SA Water’s Acting Senior Manager Production and Treatment Dr Daniel Hoefel said the corporation would work with police to investigate the alleged break-in.
“We’ll be working with police to facilitate their investigation, and will also look at our security measures to ensure they’re fit for purpose,” he said.
“The treatment plant is operating as normal to treat and recycle wastewater produced by our customers across the southern suburbs.”
Principal Water Quality Adviser from SA Health Dr David Cunliffe said as a precaution people should avoid swimming in the sea at least 100 meters either side of the creek until tests confirm it is safe for entry.
“The affected area is clearly marked with signage,” he said.
"It doesn’t appear as though the sea water is affected but it’s prudent for us to take the precaution, just in case.
“If people enter this section of the sea and develop a gastrointestinal illness, including diarrhoea and vomiting illness they should contact their medical practitioner.”
Water samples have been taken from the surrounding beach area and are currently being analysed, with results expected to be available around midday tomorrow.
It is anticipated the 200 metre section of the water will remain closed to swimmers as a precaution, until test results confirm the sea water is unaffected by this incident.
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