Website rates water quality
Swimmers wanting to see if their favourite spot is clean will now be able to check online.
Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (Lawa) has expanded its website to include data from regional councils around the country to give people an idea how clean water is.
Councils conduct water testing by collecting samples then measuring the level of indicator bacteria - e.coli or enterococci - which can make people sick.
A district council will alert the public that a swimming area isn’t safe once e.coli levels reach 500 parts per 100 millilitres, for example. With three tiers a site can be rated - green, orange or red - and with the whole country on display it’s easy to see which areas are under-performing.
Lawa chairman and Otago Regional Council chair Stephen Woodhead said the latest results displayed online showed that most monitored sites throughout New Zealand were acceptable to swim at.
As of last December, parts of the Manawatu and greater Wellington appear to have the highest concentration of red-dots whereas the Hawke’s Bay had no areas that were unacceptable.
Taranaki’s Waiwhakaiho River at Merrilands Domain - one of New Plymouth’s top swimming holes - turned up an unacceptable rating, with a 1 to 5 per cent risk of illness in the latest round of testing