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Swim thru Summer - first check you're good to 'go'

With the arrival of summer, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is encouraging people to get out and enjoy the great swimming spots the region has to offer.

‘Swim Thru Summer’ is also a reminder to check your favourite spots are ‘good to go’ before taking the plunge at our superb beaches and rivers, says the Regional Council’s Marine and Coastal Scientist Anna Madarasz-Smith.

“The water quality at Hawke’s Bay beaches is excellent most of the time, and while our rivers and streams can be affected by run-off after heavy rain they are typically OK to swim in over summer when the flow is steady,” she adds.

Launched this week and running until the end of January, ‘Swim Thru Summer’ promotes an online traffic light for water quality at beach and river swim spots. The message will be spread through print, radio, social media, bus-backs, vehicles and swim spot visits.

Anyone in Hawke’s Bay, or New Zealand, can use their smartphone to check the traffic light for their favourite swimming spot by going to hbrc.govt.nz.
The science monitoring team, which includes university students working through their holidays, goes out every Monday to monitor more than 30 popular recreational water spots across the region, from November until mid-March.

Mrs Madarasz-Smith says there’s a misconception that Hawke’s Bay rivers and beaches are not suitable for swimming, but monitoring data shows that many of our rivers and beaches are suitable for swimming much of the time.

“We’re working closely with the national team at LAWA to provide results for their ‘Can I Swim Here’ tool at LAWA.org.nz/swim. It gives a great picture of the weather, water temperature, facilities and directions to each swim spot,” she says.

The summer monitoring results for all regions are shared on the national LAWA website, which stands for Land Air Water Aotearoa and aims to be New Zealand's most comprehensive source of natural resource data. The website displays the current state and trend information for New Zealand's rivers and lakes, water use and availability, bathing beaches, air quality and land cover.

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