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


Summer testing underway


Monday, December 09, 2013

Summer testing underway

As the weather heats up, Horizons Regional Council is heading out to test water quality at popular swimming spots around the Region as part of its summer monitoring programme.

Horizons water quality spokesperson Barry Gilliland says the council takes weekly samples at 16 swimming and recreation sites over the summer months and grades each site green, amber or red depending on E. Coli levels.

A further 29 areas have a permanent grading system in place and Horizons also looks for blue-green algal slimes which can pose a risk to people and animals. 

Results from the council’s most recent testing on December 4 are largely positive, with 13 out of 16 sites rated green or safe for swimming. The remaining three sites: Duddings Lake, Lake Wiritoa and Wairarawa Stream are graded amber or satisfactory for swimming.

Test results are displayed on the Safe Swim Spots section of Horizons’ website. However, Mr Gilliland says nothing beats taking a look and following a few rules of thumb. 

“We’ve been collecting data as part of our swimming spots monitoring programme since 2004 and while these gradings provide a general indication of water health there are a few rules of thumb people should follow before they hop in.

“Coastal beaches and rivers close to the ranges such as the Upper Whanganui River, Pohangina River, Kahuterawa Stream, Tokomaru River and Ohau River are generally the best option for safe swimming. Bigger rivers take longer to recover after periods of heavy rainfall but are still ok for swimming most of the time.

“If the water looks clean and clear and it’s a sunny day you should be good to go. If it’s been raining, we advise waiting three rain-free days before swimming at river swimming spots.

“If musty smelling, black slimy mat-like growths are observed on river bed stones during low flows it’s safest for you and your dog to avoid using the river. This is just something for swimmers to be aware of if it hasn’t rained for a few weeks and again it’s a matter of looking to see whether the water is clear and making a sensible decision,” he says.

Horizons’ chief executive Michael McCartney says he hopes people get out there this summer and enjoy what the Region has to offer.

‘’It’s important that the public understand their rivers and beaches. Our Region’s home to plenty of great swimming spots, so when the conditions are right people should go for it. Equally, it’s important for the community to know when or where it’s not wise to use a river.

"It’s important to remain mindful of the risks the natural environment presents and watch out for sunken logs, rocks and river bank trees that could present a hazard," he says.

Weekly swim spot testing is carried out from November through to April. More information and gradings is available online via Horizons’ website www.horizons.govt.nz


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>


Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>


Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>


Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>


ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>


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. More>>


Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>


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>>


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>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news