We monitor bacteria levels at popular coastal and freshwater swimming spots every summer, with data fed directly to the maps in this section of the website.
In Taranaki, most people swim at the beach rather than in rivers. Results of our monitoring of the region's popular coastal beaches are consistently better than the national average.
Monitoring shows that water quality at popular river bathing spots continues to be better than a decade ago. Undeniably, it is far better than in the 1960s and 1970s, when waterways were routinely contaminated with partially treated municipal sewage and/or raw, untreated dairy effluent. Today, wildfowl and gulls are the major source of contamination at the few sites that exceed health risk guidelines.
Monitoring for summer summer 2020/2021 is now under way. More information on current monitoring programme
Full monitoring summary
See our healthy waterways report for the latest monitoring summary. For more detailed information, download the annual scientific reports:
Coastal bathing beaches
Water quality at popular coastal beaches is regularly monitored over the summer swimming season from November to March. Results are generally excellent.Coastal water quality summer 2019-2020 (2.9 MB pdf) Earlier reports
Freshwater recreational bathing
Water quality at popular freshwater bathing sites is monitored over the summer season from November to March, with results available to the public.Freshwater recreational bathing summer 2019-2020 (2.7 MB pdf) Earlier reports