Since 2015, we’ve increased our water quality monitoring and research efforts so that we can better understand the main causes of the poor water quality and explore new solutions. So far we’ve found that:
- Ruminant animals (cows, sheep, deer or goats) are the main source of faecal bacteria in the Kaiate Stream.
- Birds are also a source of bacteria at some Kaiate Stream locations, probably as a result of nesting and feeding activity above the Falls.
- Bacteria are entering the Kaiate stream from a number of different tributaries, including one with extensive forest cover, in an unpredictable manner.
- Other water quality and ecological health indicators such as temperature, nitrate and ammonia levels in Kaiate Stream are good compared to national and regional guidelines.
- Summer monitoring results show that E.coli bacteria levels improved from 2007 until 2014-15, but unsafe levels have been regularly in the Kaiate Stream each summer since then.
You can see the latest swimming water quality monitoring results for Kaiate Falls and other locations throughout the region at www.lawa.org.nz.
Weekly sampling results for the 2019/20 swimming season are available for live viewing.
Landowners can take action now. Regional Council offers practical advice and funding subsidies to help landowners complete works that can improve water quality as well as land and business productivity.
Funded works can include fencing, planting, nutrient budgeting, farm planning, detention bunds, treatment wetlands and many other activities. We can also help landowners to access funding from the Te Uru Rākau One Billion Trees Programme.
Keep in touch
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In the meantime, please contact us if you have question or would like to find out how you can get involved:
Hayden Schick, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Land Management Officer
Ph: 0800 884 881 extn 8507