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Confident swimming in Hawke's Bay

The recreational water quality report for summer 2015/16 was presented to Regional Planning Committee meeting yesterday. 

Results showed water quality was good for swimming at all of the monitored sites, but that at times caution is needed after rain.

The best performing river site was the Tutaekurī River, and all 17 monitored coastal marine locations also got a 100% pass.

Pandora Pond and Porangahau Estuary were also 100% swimmable last summer season.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council measures water quality for river, estuary and marine sites from November to March using national contact recreation guidelines. The programme focuses on places where people usually like to swim and play in water.

Water Quality and Ecology Technician, Shane Gilmer leads the monitoring programme and feels positive about the approaching summer season.

“Most of our rivers and beaches are safe to swim at most of the time, although this can quickly change after a storm or swell,” says Mr Gilmer.

“The ‘rule of toes’ in knee-deep water is that if you can’t see your toes, you might like to go somewhere else,” he adds.

Both Tukituki and Ngaruroro Rivers are good for swimming with guideline criteria met all but once due to rainfall (95% compliant).

In the ‘could do better’ department, Wairoa River missed the mark four times (80%), Waipuka Stream and Kairakau Lagoon missed three times (85%), and Nuhaka River missed twice (90%).

The Recreational Water Quality Monitoring programme runs over summer each year, from November to March, with weekly monitoring programme results available on HBRC’s website. The work is carried out by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council with the Public Health Unit of Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and local councils.

A quick view of where we monitor and what the water is like can be found on our #swimming webpage.  The final report for 2015-16 is on the same page, please scroll down and look under Related Documents.

24 November 2016

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