People heading to Taranaki’s lakes, rivers and beaches this summer are encouraged to first check whether the water is safe to swim in.
From 1 November until the end of March, Taranaki Regional Council will monitor water quality at 40 sites across the region’s popular recreational rivers, lakes and beaches. Weekly results will be available on the Council’s website, along with information on any permanent health warnings or temporary advisories.
With New Zealand on track for one of its hottest summers, it’s expected that more people will be heading out for a swim to cool off.
Council Freshwater and Coastal Team Leader Thomas McElroy says the warmer weather can affect the quality of the water.
“Sometimes warmer than average temperatures can promote the growth of harmful algae and other bacteria so it’s really important to check the latest water quality results before jumping in. We want the community to be able to enjoy their favourite swimming spots safely.”
It takes about three days from when a water sample is taken to when the results are available, so Mr McElroy urges people to use their common sense if the water looks murky or smells unpleasant.
”Always avoid swimming for three days after heavy or prolonged rainfall. If you can't see your feet in water that's knee-high deep, it's best to keep out of the water.”
There is permanent warning signage at some of the less suitable swimming sites, including the Te Henui River mouth and the Waiwhakaiho River at Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.
The first test results will be available on Thursday evening, 4 November at www.trc.govt.nz/can-i-swim-here(external link).
Taranaki water quality results can also be found on the national environmental monitoring website Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (www.lawa.org.nz(external link)).