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 Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that we’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news