The Ministry for the Environment today released information relating to the swimmability of New Zealand’s lakes and rivers.
The information displayed in a table and as a map, shows E.coli levels in rivers and toxic algal levels in lakes, as these are two factors that can lead to health risks for swimmers. Rivers in the orange and red categories present a potentially higher risk for swimming than those in the yellow, green and blue categories.
Environment Southland’s director of science and communications Graham Sevicke-Jones said the Ministry for the Environment’s information identifies the state of rivers on an annual basis, irrespective of climatic conditions.
“I would encourage people to check our website before heading out, and assess the clarity of the water and the conditions when they arrive,” he said. “Our website provides recent results which better reflect the local conditions.”
A number of factors determine whether a waterway is suitable for swimming including flow, access, heavy rain, and other weather conditions. In Southland, high rainfall even in summer can have significant impact on whether a site is suitable for swimming.
Environment Southland provides up-to-date monitoring results and an overall grade based on 5 years of data http://gis.es.govt.nz/index.aspx?app=bathing-water.... Information is also available on the joint regional council website www.lawa.org.nz.
You can also view the swimmable rivers map and more details about the Government's announcement around the Clean Water Package here: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/fresh-water/freshwater-management-reforms/clean-water-package-2017