Swimming in our Rivers & Ocean
We monitor recreational water spots over the Summer to check on their suitability for swimming. Every week over summer (1 November - 31 March) we check 38 popular swimming and recreation spots - coastal beaches, rivers and Lake Tutira. We post the data and guidelines here so that you can stay healthy in the water.
We use colour coded symbols to indicate suitability (see the legend on the map), with the red symbol indicating that it is not suitable for swimming.
Algae Increase in Tukituki - 1/2/2017
We have classified this lake as generally unsuitable for recreational activities. There may be times when the health risk is low, however we are unable to advise when these occur.
Summer Event Exclusion Zones
During summer many of our popular swimming and boating areas are used for sports and competitive events and exclusion zones are in place for these events to be run safely.
Each Monday during summer we sample water at these sites and a lab test tells us how much bacteria is present. As there's a delay in getting results to you through the Public Health Unit, the Rule of Toe (below) is a handy guide.
Long term results
This gives you a more general guide using the ‘Suitability for Recreational Grade’ which is based on 5 years of data and a catchment risk assessment. The most recent annual report on the 2013/14 summer results is at the bottom of this page.
Another reliable source of information is the joint regional council LAWA (Land Air Water Aotearoa) website: www.lawa.org.nz which enables you to compare water quality across the country as well as the region.
Rule of Toes!
If it's been raining heavily, our best advice is to stay out of the water for 3 days. A handy guide is if you can't see your toes when standing knee-deep in water, then water quality is not the best for a swim.
Clive River, Waipuka Stream and Puhokio Stream are generally less suitable for swimming or recreational use, due to higher potential bacteria levels. The Clive River and Puhokio stream are sampled fortnightly as they have permanent signs up warning of the health risks. HBRC, community groups and landowners are working to improve water quality in these places.
Signs to look out for
These are the signs to look out for when the water quality is not safe for swimming, or not safe to collect food from the sea.