We collect water samples from more than 70 popular coastal, river and lake recreation sites around the Bay of Plenty, weekly throughout the summer swim season from late October to the end of March.
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:
- Uretara River
- Lower Ngongotahā Stream
- Kaiate Falls
- Utuhina Stream (at Lake Road)
- Lake Rotoehu
- 2 Mile Creek, Waihī Beach
- 3 Mile Creek, Waihī Beach
- Lower Waimapu Stream, Greerton (includes stream adjacent to Marist Rugby fields, Maleme Street drain)
- Courtney drain, Fraser Cove
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
- Toi te Ora Public Health also issues shellfish safety warnings where elevated faecal bacteria levels are present. See latest alerts here.
- Ministry for Primary Industries monitors shellfish for shellfish poisoning risk that can be caused by naturally occuring toxic algae blooms. See the latest alerts here.