Far North District Council contractors have moved quickly to isolate a faulty valve at the Russell wastewater plant and contain a moderate sewage spill into Uruti Bay this morning.
Around 150 cubic metres of untreated sewage is estimated to have discharged into the Bay as a result of the malfunction. Contractors found the fault at around 8.15 today and shut down the plant within five minutes of discovery.
Northland District Health Board has ordered the closure of Orongo Bay oyster farms for 28 days and has advised people not to gather shellfish from Russell to the tip of Orongo Bay during this time. People are also advised not to swim at Russell for a week and warning signs to this effect are being erected in the area.