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SAFESWIM Season Comes To A Close

SAFESWIM Season Comes To A Close
April 14, 2005

The Safeswim summer sampling season, which has been monitoring beach water quality since October, has come to a close.

Safeswim, a joint initiative between North Shore City, Auckland City and Rodney District councils involves testing water quality at 61 beaches and lakes in the region, including 26 North Shore beaches and six sites at Lake Pupuke.

The last helicopter run, to collect water samples, which are then analysed for the presence of indicator bacteria took place on April 6.

"This is the sixth season of Safeswim and it's been really successful with sampling taking place for 24 of the 25 weeks over summer. There was only the one occasion in December when the weather prevented us from collecting samples," North Shore City's pollution prevention co-ordinator, Stephanie Steffens, says.

"The urban environment has a significant impact on beach and lake water quality with stormwater runoff mostly from roads and wet weather sewage overflows, being the two main sources of water pollution in the Auckland region. We're pleased to report that we had no major concerns this season from the samples collected," she says.

"The lack of sewer overflows during the summer season is partly due to the fact that there have been no extreme weather events over this period, but also reflects the major programme of sewer repair works, and building of storage tanks that has been carried out by the council under Project CARE, over the past four years," says North Shore City 's wastewater networks operations manager, Keith Morris.

The Safeswim programme will begin again in October.

During the winter, monitoring of water quality will be carried out at the city's recreational beaches and lakes on a reactive basis, in response to any pollution event which may affect the water quality. If results are not within health guidelines, warning signs will be put up at the affected sites and the results will be updated on the SAFESWIM website.

The latest water quality results for recreational beaches and lake sites are available on the website www.northshorecity.govt.nz on the Safeswim link or by calling 0800 SAFESWIM (0800 72 33 79).

(ends)

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