Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Canterbury water testing results now on ECan web

South and Mid Canterbury water testing results now on ECan web

To Sara Fraser, getting to drive round South Canterbury’s favourite swimming spots every week for most of the summer is a dream job.

The 20-year-old Otago University chemistry student is working for Environment Canterbury collecting water samples to be tested to ensure these places are safe for swimming. The area she covers spans from the Ashburton lakes through to the Mackenzie lakes, and south to the Waitaki River

“The best part is driving around and seeing these amazing spots. It’s a fun job and it’s good for my studies, especially because I got to see the lab and may be able to apply the work to what I learn next year, and in the future,” she says.

Three weeks into the job, the Orari Gorge rates as her favourite site, and she reports that the water quality there is good.

A handful of swimming spots in South Canterbury are recording poor water quality and they are the Waihao River at the Black Hole and Bradshaws pools, Lake Benmore at Pumpkin Bay, Lake Aviemore at Loch Laird and Lake Opuha at Ewarts Corner boat ramp.

The best places for water quality in the south are at the dam boat ramp of South Canterbury’s newest lake, Opuha, near Fairlie, Lake Benmore at Ohau C, and the Lake Ruataniwha camping grounds beach.

At each site, Sara takes a sample where the water is a metre high, and the sample is taken from half a metre deep, or as near enough to this as possible. The samples are then sent to the Christchurch ECan lab for testing and the results sent back to Sara, who gets the information to the relevant district council and checks that the ECan website is updated.

She says other areas faring well on the water quality stakes to date are Lake Middleton, near Lake Ohau and lakes Benmore, Ruataniwha and Aviemore. The region’s most famous swimming spot, Caroline Bay, is also returning good water quality results.

Sara says things such as rainfall can affect quality as there is more run-off into the rivers and lakes.

For the most up-to-date information, check the ECan website, www.ecan.govt.nz/swimming or look at Eye on the Environment bottom right hand side and click open Swimming Water Quality. You then drill down into the individual sites to see how the season is progressing.

Here is the page which shows the water quality so far for Caroline Bay:



Every summer, Environment Canterbury monitors more than 90 coastal and freshwater swimming sites. Water samples are collected weekly by students based in Christchurch and Timaru (50-plus sites), volunteers (about 30 sites), and in Kaikoura, ECan staffer Peter Adams. ECan analyses the samples with results on its website about 48 hours after the sample is taken.

ECan water portfolio chairman Cr Mark Oldfield says the ECan water testing is a good way for people to make the connection between people's activities, the environment and resultant water quality changes. "Lots of things can affect water quality, including subdivision, or hillside clearing with resultant run-off muddying nearby water, as well as birds living along rivers, which people need to be aware of. Generally we have a good range of swimming sites in Canterbury but people may not be aware of additional risks so that is where these water quality sites are extremely helpful and ensure the community is informed and can protect their health."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election