Annual water quality testing in the Kaipara District has commenced and will continue until early March, checking bacteria levels for the health of swimmers. Weekly results will be posted on the national environmental reporting website lawa.org.nz and the Kaipara District Council website kaipara.govt.nz.
The Northland Regional Council testing looks for bacteria used to gauge the risks of contracting gastrointestinal and other infections while using beaches, rivers and lakes for swimming, water sports and other forms of recreation.
“We let the health board and district council know of any results showing elevated bacterial levels, typically within 48 hours, and it’s their responsibility to take any further action needed,” said Northland Regional Council chairman, Bill Shepherd.
It can include further site investigations to establish the source of any contamination, public warnings not to swim or gather shellfish and putting up permanent warning signs.
Three sites have been removed from previous sampling lists.
Kaihu River at the swimming hole next to the Top 10 Holiday Park at Trounson Park and the Omamari Beach Stream near the car park will no longer be tested because tests have shown the cause of contamination is from livestock.
Permanent Health Notice signs have been erected advising the public not to swim within 48 hours after rainfall.
The site at Mangawhai Harbour near the pontoon below Eveline Street has been removed from regular testing because it is no longer seen to be a risk.
Water quality concerns can be reported to the environmental hotline 0800 504 639.