Safeswim water quality monitoring
Overall, the water quality in our bathing beaches and lakes is very good and meets New Zealand health guidelines. However, from time to time, water quality problems can arise.
Our Safeswim monitoring programme provides weekly tests of water quality at a range of beaches in the region, in an effort to keep them safe for the public.
If our testing shows a beach is not safe to swim, we will put up signs advising against going in the water. The signs will stay up until further testing confirms that the water is safe.
Testing takes place over summer, from early November to late March.
Water safety recommendations
Our Safeswim tests are a snapshot of water quality at a certain time.
To stay safe at any time, we recommend that you always:
- avoid swimming in high-risk areas such as stormwater outfalls and stream mouths
- avoid swimming for up to 48 hours after heavy rain
- obey surf safety guidelines
- look out for organisms that pose a health risk such as jellyfish and toxic sea slugs.
See the below websites for more information:
At some locations we have identified ongoing water quality issues. We do not recommend swimming or recreational water activities at:
- Cox’s Bay
- Meola Reef
- Weymouth Beach
- Little Oneroa Lagoon
- Wairau Outlet.
Some other beaches have a history of excellent water quality, and present a low risk to public health.
For this reason, we do not undertake routine monitoring at:
- Goat Island Marine Reserve, Leigh
- Anchor Bay, Tawharanui Regional Park
- Kendall Bay, Birkenhead
- Cheltenham Beach, Devonport
- Sunkist Bay, Beachlands
- Omana Beach, Omana Regional Park
- Okoromai Bay
Reporting water quality issues
The events that are most likely to affect bathing beach water quality are:
- overflows of sewage from the wastewater network
- significant pollution of the stormwater system.
These may carry pollutants and contaminants into our streams, beaches and lakes.
We respond to pollution incidents to protect public and environmental health, and there are processes set up across the region to identify, resolve and manage risks. These include:
- putting up signs
- warning the community of problems, and
- undertaking water quality testing to identify when water quality has improved.
Please report pollution to our Pollution Hotline on 09 377 3107.