Waikawa Beach is a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, fishing and puddling about in the water. Each summer the water is tested weekly at various spots around the country, including at and near Waikawa Beach.
Summer season monitoring: Many councils monitor popular recreational sites weekly over the summer months. This lets swimmers know what the most recent bacteria (E. coli) levels were. Remember, even for sites where the monitoring has shown an acceptable to swim test result, some conditions can make them unsuitable to swim in from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming after heavy rainfall for 48 hours.
Note: The quality of water for swimming is determined by measuring ‘faecal indicator bacteria’ (enterococci in coastal waters and E. coli in rivers and lakes) which indicate the levels of disease causing organisms in the water.
See Factsheet: Coastal and freshwater recreation monitoring for details of the numbers and risk levels.
An E. coli count below around 260 or an enterococci count below around 200 is acceptable. Above that moves to Alert or Unacceptable. Acceptable counts have been marked in bold and green in the table below.
In the table below, columns are for Waikawa at North Manakau Road (E. coli), Waikawa Estuary at Footbridge (E. coli), and Tasman Sea at Waikawa Beach (enterococci). There’s no rainfall or river flow data in the table, but personal observation is that this summer was exceptionally rainy.
Notice how the water up the road at North Manakau Road is very often
green, or acceptable, while some 7 to 10 Km downstream here by the footbridge it’s very often not green. In the sea though seems to be mainly OK.
|Sample Date||N. Manakau||Footbridge||Beach|
More detailed research on all of this and on ways to clean up our swimming water would be an excellent thing.
One thought on “The river runs red”
so … the ‘boat day’ was held when the river ran dirtiest (for e-coli) that it ran all summer?
Is it time to let this tradition go as it seems the river is no longer the safe swimming spot that it once was?