Nelson surfers face raw sewage from leaking pipeline

Nelson surfers say they're having to swim through raw sewage at a local surf break due to a leaking pipeline.

Schnappers Point may look like an idyllic spot for a surf, but Mark Nichols, the Nelson Boardriders Surf Club president, says surfers face faeces during their paddle to the break.

"We'll see pieces of poo, solid faeces floating by, particles of toilet paper," he said.

Up to a dozen of his mates have fallen ill.

"You come here surfing when it's been overflow rain, go out surfing for a few hours, a couple of days later people start feeling ill."

There are sewage warning signs 300 metres from the point's carpark and Land Air Water Aotearoa advises against swimming at the Boulder Bank for two to three days after heavy rain.

"We don't deny that we surf in front of a sewage plant - or up the road from a sewage plant - we just expect that the end product to actually be of human consumption and it's not going to make people sick," says Nichols.

The council's confirmed there have been low levels of untreated wastewater discharging directly into the area because of leaking pipe fittings and the pipe won't be fully repaired until around 2028.

"What I would like to see is maybe a little bit more open discussion with the Nelson City Council about when they have these outfalls, and what they're actually doing with the waste water."

Nelson's mayor Rachel Reese says surfers are right to be raising the issue and she will be asking for an explanation from staff.

But until changes are made, surfers are still going to have to contend with the odd code brown.



Contact Newshub with your story tips: