1 November 2007
How safe is your nearest swimming spot?
This summer’s swimming season is here and it’s a good time to check out the water quality of your favourite rivers and
Weekly monitoring of water quality begins on Monday 5 November at 100 popular beach and river swimming spots across the
Wellington region. Monitoring is a joint initiative between Greater Wellington Regional Council and city and district
Results will be published weekly from November to March on Greater Wellington’s website at www.gw.govt.nz/on-the-beaches
using a traffic light system. A green light is for go and indicates a low health risk for swimmers. The health risk is
determined from the level of bacteria found in water samples.
“This year for the first time, swimmers in the Wainuiomata River can check swimming safety, as we have extended the
programme to include a swimming spot at Richard Prouse Park,” says Greater Wellington environmental scientist, Summer
The level of risk is highest during and after rain events, and people are advised to avoid swimming for 48 hours after
“Even light rain can sometimes be enough to affect water quality. It also pays to keep an eye out for other events like
livestock contamination, in addition to checking out our monitoring results”, says Summer.
River users, particularly those with dogs, should also be on the lookout for blue-green algae mats, which can be toxic.
More information on toxic blue-green algae can be found on Greater Wellington’s website www.gw.govt.nz.