Can I Swim Here ends for summer

The Can I Swim Here water quality monitoring has come to a close for the 2023/24 summer.

Over the past five months, we took more than 850 routine water samples from 41 swim spots at rivers, lakes and beaches – with the results shared weekly on the Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website. The Taranaki pages had more than 28,000 views, which was awesome. 


A few reminders, especially for those hardy souls still heading out in the water:

Stay alert for thick brown or black mats growing on rocks in river beds. As of last week, five of the seven monitored river sites and one lake were unsuitable for swimming (for humans or dogs) due to cyanobacteria (toxic algae). We will continue to monitor these sites until they return to normal, posting the results on LAWA each week.

We’ll do a full analysis of the summer’s results, but most of the samples that exceeded guideline levels were taken after heavy or prolonged rain. We know heavy rain washes contaminants off the land into rivers and out to sea. That’s why we advise you to wait three days after heavy or prolonged rain before swimming.

Can I Swim Here may be over for the summer but there’s heaps of other cool stuff on the LAWA site, including local air quality, estuary health and groundwater quality. Check out

Thanks to programme partners Stratford District Council - Te Kaunihera ā Rohe o Whakaahurangi, South Taranaki District Council, New Plymouth District Council and Health NZ - Taranaki for your support, sorting the signage and helping spread the word.