This summer’s Safeswim beach water quality monitoring is underway, with more than 60 beaches in the region selected for inclusion in the programme following a review by Auckland Council.
Samples from 64 beaches stretching from Omaha in the north to Sandspit Beach, near Waiuku, in the south are now being collected and tested for specific bacteria. Results from the weekly monitoring, which will be undertaken until 3 April next year, are available online and via an 0800 number.
Auckland Council Land and Water Management team leader Rob Hughes says the Safeswim programme ensures the water at the region’s key recreational beaches is regularly tested and the public advised if it is safe to swim at the monitored sites.
“If the tests indicate there is any potential public health risk, Auckland Council will promptly erect warning signs in the relevant locations. These will only be removed once the water quality is assessed to be safe.”
Water samples are collected on a Tuesday or Wednesday, using helicopters to help the team cover a large number of sites quickly and cost-effectively. The test results are available by the weekend via 0800 SAFESWIM (0800 723 379) and online at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/safeswim.
Mr Hughes says generally the water quality at Auckland’s swimming beaches is very good and meets New Zealand heath guidelines. However, if there is heavy rain, or if pollutants enter our waterways, this can quickly change.
People should wait 48 hours after heavy rain before swimming at the beach and, at all times, should avoid swimming near stormwater outflows, stream and river mouths, he says.
Remember, if you see any pollution please report it to the council’s pollution response team via 09 301 0101 or directly on our Pollution Hotline 09 377 3107.