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.
Keep in touch
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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. Previous region-wide recreational waters surveillance reports undertaken by Bay of Plenty Regional Council can be found in Environmental publications.
A Million Metres Streams Project has been established by Waitao Landcare Group and a local landowner. See the project web page to find out how you can make a donation or help with fencing and planting upstream of the Kaiate Falls.
Landowners can access practical advice and funding support for work on their properties that improves water quality by contacting their local Land Management Officer.