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

Agreements Signed:
PM Meets With Chinese President

Prime Minister John Key held successful talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wellington...

“Today we have agreed to characterise the relationship between our nations as a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, recognising the significance of the bilateral relationship to both countries.”

Ten new agreements and arrangements between New Zealand and China have been signed, including an amendment to the Free Trade Agreement that will enable a television co-production arrangement. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news