The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS -

I’m writ­ing in re­sponse to Gavin Roache’s let­ter pub­lished in The Tribune on Jan­uary 20 re­gard­ing the safety of wa­ter­ways for swim­ming.

En­sur­ing wa­ter­ways in the Manawatu¯ Catch­ment are safe, ac­ces­si­ble, swimmable and pro­vide good recre­ation and food sources is one the goals of the Manawatu¯ River Lead­ers’ Ac­cord and a high pri­or­ity for our Hori­zons team who mon­i­tor wa­ter qual­ity at pop­u­lar swim­ming sites through­out the sum­mer months.

Swim spot sam­pling is car­ried out weekly at a num­ber of fresh­wa­ter and coastal sites through­out the re­gion be­tween Novem­ber and April and the re­sults are made avail­able via our web­site us­ing a green, am­ber, red sys­tem for E.coli and blue-green al­gae.

Re­cently, new sig­nage has been in­stalled at a num­ber of pop­u­lar swim­ming ar­eas and the Land Air Wa­ter Aotearoa web­site is an­other great source of long-term grad­ing in­for­ma­tion for sites across New Zealand.

Our gen­eral ad­vice to swim­mers is that if it’s a sunny day and the wa­ter looks clean and clear you should be good to go.

It’s best to wait three days for the wa­ter to clear af­ter heavy rain­fall be­fore swim­ming at a river site and if you ob­serve musty-smelling, black, mat-like growths on river stones dur­ing low river flows it is safest for you and your dog to avoid us­ing the river at that time. Michael McCart­ney

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil

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