Media release from Accord member Horizons Regional Council around the summer swim spot monitoring programme from the summer of 2011. For more recent news check out the Horizons media release from 2019 and the swim spot map. In 2019 over 80 swim spots in the region are monitored weekly, including 27 in our catchment, find out more about water monitoring and what to watch for when you’re planning a swim on our science pages.
With summer upon us in full force, Horizons Regional Council’s annual water testing at popular swimming and recreational spots is well underway, giving people the information they need to escape the heat.
Horizons does weekly monitoring of water quality at 13 swimming spots. Based on the results, the spots are given a green light when it’s good to swim, amber when precaution should be taken, and red if it’s best not to swim.
Test results for the week of 15 December show 10 of the 13 spots have a green light, great news for those wanting to cool off.
While Horizons carries out weekly testing at 13 spots, there are 29 popular swimming areas that have a permanent grading system, based on knowledge of the water quality at the sites.
The top grades for beaches listed on the website are Foxton, Himatangi Waitarere and Castle Cliff.
Top river spots listed are Kahuterawa Stream, Ohau River at Gladstone Reserve and Kimberley Reserve, Pohangina River at Totara Reserve, Rangitīkei River at Mangaweka, and Tokomaru River at Horseshoe Bend.
These gradings provide a general indication of water health but swimmers should use the following rule of thumb before jumping in:
- It is safest to wait three days after rain before swimming at river swimming spots.
- If the water looks clean and clear, and it’s a sunny day, you should be good to go.
As well as making the results available on the Horizons Regional Council website, www.horizons.govt.nz, a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Horizonsswimspots has been set up so people can post updates on the conditions at their favourite spots and ask questions about water quality.
Horizons’ chief executive Michael McCartney hopes people get out there this summer and enjoy what the Region has to offer.
‘’It’s important the public understand their river and that there are great places to swim. When the conditions are right people should go for it. Equally, its important for the community to know when or where its not wise to use the river.”
We want people to take a look on our website, get chatting on Facebook and ask questions and get to know their rivers, he said.