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


Annual Testing Of Popular Swim Spots Begins

Date: 27 November, 2008

Annual Testing Of Popular Swim Spots Begins

Water quality tests to determine how safe Northland’s most popular beaches and rivers are for swimming are under way again.

The Northland Regional Council has been monitoring bacterial levels at popular summer swimming spots for the past decade, typically carrying out 12 weeks of sampling from around early December to mid-February.

Riaan Elliot, the Council’s Monitoring Senior Programme Manager, says hundreds of samples will be taken from about 40 coastal and 20 freshwater sites around Northland over the next few weeks.

Mr Elliot says previous testing shows most of Northland’s popular beach and river spots are suitable for recreational uses, including swimming, water skiing, windsurfing and kayaking.

However, he says heavy rain or environmental incidents like sewage spills can see water quality fall below acceptable limits for recreational use, with raised bacteria levels posing health risks.

“Increased bacterial levels can mean a higher risk of people contracting stomach bug or cold-like illnesses, as well as possible skin, eye or ear infections.”

Mr Elliot says both coastal and freshwater areas can be contaminated by a variety of sources, including sewage, septic tank seepage, discharges from boats, urban stormwater, run-off from farmland and stock in waterways.

Most sites surveyed last year will be tested again this summer. Additionally, some sites dropped from last year’s programme (most because they had had constantly low bacterial levels) will be tested again this year to ensure the Council’s records are up to date.

Results from the monitoring programme will be posted weekly on the Council’s website at www.nrc.govt.nz/swimming with the first results due early next week (subs: week beginning 01 Dec).

Mr Elliot says results are also forwarded regularly to District Councils and the Northland District Health Board.

He says the District Health Board (DHB) is also informed of any results showing elevated bacterial levels within 24 hours.

“It then becomes the responsibility of the DHB and the region’s three District Councils to take action. This can include further site investigations to establish the source of contamination, public warnings not to swim or gather shellfish or erection of permanent warning signs at the worst sites.”

Mr Elliot says people unsure about water quality in their area should avoid swimming or gathering shellfish for several days after heavy rain, even if a site has been graded as safe earlier in the week.

“A useful rule of thumb is that if the water is murky and you can’t see your feet when it’s knee deep, it may be contaminated and unsafe for swimming.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Tourism’s Endless Sense Of Grievance

Sad that a once in a century pandemic should have come along before the government had a clearly thought out plan for rescuing all the firms and saving all the jobs in the tourism sector. Sad that the government now looks like it was making up the criteria for support as it went along. But guess what? To some extent, they were. Possibly because in the modern era, a pandemic had never before caused international travel to evaporate almost overnight... More>>


PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>


PM Statement: Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level Review

Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin. This week is the Māori ... More>>


Greens: $297m Fund To Support Sustainable Food And Farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friendly practices. The plan will: · Improve how we look after our land and water, with a levy on the ... More>>


National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>


NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

Police: Numerous Arrests Following Investigation Into Historical Offending At Auckland School

Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Baber, Auckland City Police: Police have made six arrests as part of an operation investigating historical offending at Dilworth School. Auckland City Criminal Investigation Branch have been investigating since a complaint ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels