Swimming water quality and health warnings
Bay of Plenty Regional Council monitors and surveys water quality at popular coastal, river and lake recreation sites and shellfish beds in the region.
These sites are monitored for faecal contamination (bacterial monitoring) from October to March each year and for toxin-forming algae species (algal bloom monitoring) from October to June each year.
If a recreational water site is found to be significantly contaminated, with risk to public health, Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service informs the public by issuing a health warning and Council erects warning signs (signs are removed once the water quality improves).
If you swim in or drink contaminated water, you risk getting sick.
As a public health precaution, it is routinely recommended that people avoid swimming in rivers, streams and harbour areas for 48 hours after heavy rainfall events.
Swimming water quality
Find the best places to swim over the summer months
Updated throughout the day, LAWA shows the latest water quality results for hundreds of recreational sites throughout Aotearoa: www.lawa.org.nz
Toi Te Ora health warnings
Waiotahe Estuary - permanent health warning
Toi Te Ora (Bay of Plenty District Health Board) advise a permanent warning is in place for the Waiotahe Estuary due to pollution. The public are advised not to swim (until 48 hours after rainfall), fish or take and eat shellfish in this area.
Signage has been placed at the Estuary.
Biotoxin alerts and information for the safe gathering of seafood
Do not collect or eat shellfish from areas where shellfish biotoxin warnings have been issued.
The Ministry of Primary Industries issues public warnings about toxic shellfish.
You can check the Biotoxin alert page on the Ministry of Primary Industries website at any time for any alerts that may be in place where you want to collect shellfish.
The site also includes great information flyers on food safety for seafood gathers and how to keep your gathered seafood safe from contamination.