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

 


Annual testing of popular swim spots to start soon


Annual testing of popular swim spots to start soon

Annual Northland Regional Council summer water quality tests to indicate how safe our most popular beaches, rivers and lakes are for swimming will begin again shortly. (subs: Mon Nov 26)

The Northland regional council has been monitoring bacterial levels at popular swimming spots over summer for more than a decade.

John Ballinger, the council’s Environmental Monitoring Programme Manager, says this year’s programme is due to begin on Monday November 26 and will run until the last week of March next year.

“The programme monitors bacterial levels at beaches, lakes and rivers most often used for swimming, water sports and similar forms of recreation.”

He says hundreds of samples will be taken from 48 coastal and 11 freshwater sites across the region this year.

Results from the testing programme will be posted online every Friday at www.nrc.govt.nz/swimming allowing Northlanders - and those visiting the region - to make informed decisions about where they swim.

Mr Ballinger says the summer samples will be given one of three grades depending on the number of bacteria they contain: ‘Green’ (safe to swim), ‘Amber’ (elevated bacteria levels) or ‘Red’ (unsafe for swimming).

As well as being posted on the regional council’s website, results will also be forwarded weekly to all three district councils, the Northland District Health Board and other interested parties.

Mr Ballinger says the health board (DHB) and district councils are also informed of any results showing elevated bacterial levels within 24 hours.

“It’s then the DHB and the appropriate district council’s responsibility to take action. This can take a variety of forms including further site investigations to establish the source of any contamination, public warnings not to swim or gather shellfish, or putting up permanent warning signs at the worst sites.”

Mr Ballinger says most of the popular spots the regional council monitors are usually safe for swimming, although Northland’s high rainfall and hilly terrain meant many could be temporarily contaminated by run-off from the land for several days after heavy rain.

Those wanting to check water quality at their favourite spot can visit the council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz/swimming or freephone 0800 002 004 for more information.

Mr Ballinger says there are also four simple tips people can use as a useful rule of thumb when trying to judge water quality:

• Don’t swim if there are warning signs indicating unsafe water
• Don’t swim for two or three days after heavy rain
• Don’t swim if water looks dirty/murky, smells or has scum on its surface;
• Be aware of potential sources of contamination – both nearby and upstream.

Meanwhile, Mr Ballinger says anyone wanting to report concerns about water quality can contact the regional council’s freephone 24/7 Environmental Hotline on 0800 504 639.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news