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All Day Water Sampling: Avon-Heathcote Estuary

Annual all day water sampling Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Environment Canterbury staff and volunteers from communities around the Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai will this year once again spend a day in February gathering information on the quality of the water throughout the tidal cycle. On Wednesday, February 20, they will be working a 12-hour shift from before sunrise, taking water samples from six sites around the Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai.

The exercise has been largely driven by the community, who wants scientific information on what is happening in the estuary water, says ECan resource care coordinator, Shelley Washington. “Their main concerns are the levels of ammonia concentrations, which have the potential to cause adverse effects, particularly on the water-dwelling estuary life.”

The samples taken will be tested for ammonia and nitrates, as well as bacterial indicators such as enterococci and E.coli. The information gathered on Wednesday will complement the data that is gathered weekly from early November until the end of February as part of the recreational water quality sampling programme.

The 12-hour sampling has been carried out annually for the past seven years. This year we see a mix of volunteers involved in the all-day sampling, some who’ve been doing it for a long time, and some newer. Volunteer samplers this year include Wendy Nottage, Lance Bowring, Marita Davern, Rachel Brewer, Graham East, Les and Dorothy Batcheler, and Murray and Sandra Sim. The benchmark site is at Caspian St, South Brighton side, where South Brighton resident Graham East is sampling the water. All samples will be analysed by Environment Canterbury’s laboratory staff.

The six sites where sampling is taking place are Humphreys Drive, Pleasant Point Yacht Club, Beachville Road, Moncks Bay, Caspian Street (on the South Brighton side of the estuary) and Sumner. Sampling times for February 20 are: 6:32am, 9:01am, 11:30am, 1:59pm, 4:28pm, and 6.57pm.

If you wish to organise a photo of any of the volunteer samplers you will need to contact these volunteers directly in advance to organise the place and time: Sampler: Wendy Nottage (sampling location: Beachville Road). Ph: 376 4553 Sampler: Lance Bowring (sampling location: Beachville Road). Ph: 942 9636 Sampler: Marita Davern (sampling location: Moncks Bay). Ph: 384 4239 Sampler: Rachel Brewer (sampling location: Sumner). Ph: 326 7606 Sampler: Graham East (sampling location: Caspian Street). Ph: 382 0115 Sampler: Les & Dorothy Batcheler (sampling location: Pleasant Point Yacht Club). Ph: 388 2012 Sampler: Murray & Sandra Sim (sampling location: Humphreys Drive). Ph: 960 5115


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