Bacteria

E. coli and Enterococci are families of bacteria often found in the lower intestine of people and animals. They are used to indicate the presence of faecal material in waterways.

These are primary indicators for water quality because there is a high correlation between the presence of these bacteria and other waterborne bacteria and viruses, such as Campylobacter, which are hard to test for in their own right. In other words, if you find E. coli or enterococci, there is a high chance there will be the more dangerous (and hard to test for) microbes as well.

The status and trends for bacteria from the State of the Environment programme can be found on the LAWA website.

Horizons Regional Council recently commissioned Land Water People (LWP) to assess water quality state and trends across the region, you can download the full report here.

Te whakahaere huakita i te awa o Manawatū me ōna manga

Managing bacteria in the Manawatū Catchment

As with many of the priority areas identified in the Action Plan, different activities undertaken have a positive impact on bacteria. The main sources of bacteria in the awa are discharges from wastewater treatment plants, town stormwater and industry. To improve water quality in the Manawatū Catchment a huge effort has been made to reduce the number and impact of these discharges.

  • In 1997 there were 334 consented discharges of dairy shed effluent to surface water across the Manawatū. By 2012, there were no longer any dairy sheds in the catchment discharging effluent directly to waterways.
  • Major upgrades have been made to wastewater treatment plants throughout the catchment through the Accord and the Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-up Fund. These include wastewater treatment plants in Woodville, Dannevirke, Pāhiatua, Kimbolton, Feilding and Shannon. Over time these upgrades are expected to improve water quality. They are measured regularly through downstream monitoring of these discharges.
  • In Palmerston North, there has been major effort to reduce the number of point source discharges and amalgamate them into one source; allowing for more cost-effective and efficient wastewater treatment.

Another key source of bacteria is direct access of farm animals to waterways. Since the signing of the Accord, over 600km of stream fencing has been put in place in the Manawatū Catchment, excluding sheep and cattle from waterways. Much of this also includes planting of native riparian margins, which has many benefits, acting as a natural buffer between the land and the awa. As the plants grow they help filter bacteria and nutrients before they reach the water. Alongside this is the work being carried out by the dairy sector to exclude stock from waterways under the Dairy Clean Streams Accord. This work is the result of the community working together to make change and is only possible due to the huge support of landowners. If you’re a landowner and would like some advice about what you could do get in touch at info@manawaturiver.co.nz.

Check out the 2016 – 2021 Action Plan to find out more about the goals of the Accord and what is being done or visit the See Progress Map to see what’s been happening in your area.

GET INVOLVED

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FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP

The Manawatū River is OURS and as a community we have the choice of playing a part in its enhancement and protection. Working together we can help our awa thrive and enjoy it today and for generations to come.

FIND OUT
HOW YOU CAN HELP

Slide Despite efforts to recycle, plastic waste ends up in our awa. Reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic you use to help reduce the amount of plastic waste produced locally.

REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE

REDUCE
PLASTIC WASTE

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PICK UP LITTER

Next time you’re down by the awa take on the challenge of picking up five pieces of litter. Every bit counts and it all adds up to a happier, healthier environment for everyone to enjoy.

PICK UP LITTER

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PLANT A TREE

The benefits of planting trees are many – for our awa they include filtering nutrients from land run off and providing habitat for birds, fish and insects.

PLANT A TREE

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DISPOSE OF TOXIC
CHEMICALS SAFELY

Stop hazardous waste from reaching the river by disposing of it at dedicated facilities. Remember that everything that goes down the drain will eventually end up in our rivers and streams.

DISPOSE OF TOXIC
CHEMICALS SAFELY

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SEE IT, REPORT IT,
CALL 0508 800 800

If you see a chemical spill or contaminants in waterways call Horizons’ Pollution Hotline.

SEE IT, REPORT IT,
CALL 0508 800 800

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WASH YOUR CAR
ON THE GRASS

Grass acts as a natural filter for contaminants, trapping potential pollutants such as oil, dirt and grease. Washing your car on the lawn filters run off through the soil before entering stormwater drains and ultimately the river.

WASH YOUR CAR
ON THE GRASS

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Join the conversation and get involved, there are a lot of things you can do to help and we have the resources to show you how. Join our community on social and find out more at manawaturiver.co.nz

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

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Find out what you can do

The Manawatū River is OURS and as a community we have the choice of playing a part in its enhancement and protection. There is a lot you can do to help our awa thrive, and we are here to help you make a difference.

Find out what you can do

Slide Erosion can have a major impact on sediment and clarity in our waterways. Reduce the amount of sediment entering our awa and keep soil on your land by planting poplar poles in erosion prone areas.

COMBAT HILL COUNTRY EROSION

COMBAT HILL COUNTRY EROSION

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FIX BARRIERS TO FISH PASSAGE

Many of the native fish species need to get back and forth between their fresh water homes and the sea to breed. Barriers to this migration seriously impact our native fish, many of which are at risk. Find out how to make dams, weirs, and overhanging culverts in your streams fish friendly.

FIX BARRIERS TO FISH PASSAGE

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PROTECT STREAMS WITH RIPARIAN PLANTING AND FENCING

Keeping stock out of waterways and protecting streams with a buffer of plants along stream margins has a major impact on water quality and stream habitat. Improve sediment, nutrient, and bacteria levels in our awa and help aquatic life thrive in your streams through effective riparian management.

PROTECT STREAMS WITH RIPARIAN PLANTING AND FENCING

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MANAGE EFFLUENT ON YOUR FARM

Nutrient and bacteria in our waterways has a major impact on water quality in our catchment. Implement sustainable systems for managing effluent on your farm and help keep our awa healthy and safe.

MANAGE EFFLUENT ON YOUR FARM

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PROTECT WETLANDS AND NATIVE BUSH ON YOUR LAND

Today only 18 per cent of the catchment remains under indigenous cover. There are many programmes in the catchment working to protect these precious ecosystems. Find out how to protect bush remnants and wetlands on your land.

PROTECT WETLANDS AND NATIVE BUSH ON YOUR LAND

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LEAD A COMMUNITY PROJECT

Every year there is $100,000 of funding for community projects that aim to enhance and protect the awa. Take advantage of the support available and galvanise your community to protect our waterways.

LEAD A COMMUNITY PROJECT

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Join the conversation and get involved, there are a lot of things you can do to help and we have the resources to show you how. Join our community on social and find out more at manawaturiver.co.nz

JOIN THE CONVERSATION