Jordan at Lake Okaina

We collect water samples from more than 70 popular coastal, river and lake recreation sites around the Bay of Plenty, weekly or bi-weekly throughout the summer swim season (24 October 2018 - 21 March 2019).

The samples are checked for faecal contamination (E. coli or Enterococci bacteria) and/or for toxin-forming algae (cyanobacteria).

Our monitoring information is supplied to Toi Te Ora - Public Health who are responsible for issuing health warnings if unsafe levels of bacteria or toxic algae are detected. 

Current health warnings

Swimming or other contact with water at these locations should be avoided:

 

Regardless of health warning status:

  • You should avoid swimming for two to three days after heavy or prolonged rain. This is because the water can be contaminated by farm and urban run-off which takes some time to settle out or flush away.
  • Avoid swimming near potential sources of contamination such as flocks of birds, storm water or waste water outlets.
  • If you suspect an algal bloom is present, don't swim or take part in an activity that may result in accidental consumption or exposure to water affected by algal blooms. 

You can also see the latest algae and bacteria monitoring results along with recreational information for local swimming spots at LAWA (see below). If you suspect an algal bloom is present, don't swim or take part in an activity that may result in accidental consumption or exposure to water affected by algal blooms. 

Shellfish safety warnings: 

 

Further information:

  • Recreational water quality monitoring in New Zealand factsheet
  • LAWA swim site gradings - what the swim icons mean factsheet
  • Faecal indicator bacteria (Enterococci and E. colifactsheet
  • Potentially toxic algae factsheet