Environment Southland’s summer water monitoring programme is about to get underway – here’s how you can check in each week to see how our most popular swimming spots are faring.
The first samples for the year have been taken and, for most sites, results will be available each Friday until the end of March. Results from the seven river sites and 13 coastal sites are available on lawa.org.nz (Land, Air, Water Aotearoa) – just in time to choose a great spot for the weekend.
Environment Southland science manager Dr Elaine Moriarty says we testing for E. coli and faecal coliforms at our river and lake sites, and enterococci at our beach and estuary sites.”
“You can see the recent results on LAWA – where you can also see other sites from around the country if you’re planning to do a spot of travelling this summer.”
Results of the water sampling takes a few days and things can change quickly, so it’s important to also consider these things:
Think about the recent weather conditions. Avoid swimming when it’s been raining the day or two before.
Get familiar with the area – know where any discharge points might be, and keep them downstream of where you’re swimming
Generally, if you are standing in knee deep water and can see your toes, then you should be OK.
The team also monitor for toxic algae in lakes, rivers and lagoons and if results are high then a warning is issued.