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

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