Beach water quality
Water Quality at Northland beaches 2013-14
Water quality is tested at a selection of Northland's beaches during summer. Forty seven coastal sites will be tested weekly for 12 weeks from 25 November 2013 to 17 February 2014. Twenty three coastal sites will be tested weekly from 17 February 2014 until 24 March 2014.
Results are published every Friday afternoon.
Please Note: If water testing shows counts above the recommended guideline the relevant District Council will put up a temporary health warning sign. Swimming at these sites is not recommended for 7 days from the date written on the sign. The sign will remain in place for a further 28 days advising against shellfish harvesting as there is still a viral risk.
Before going for a swim, remember the four simple rules:
- Don't swim if there are warning signs indicating water is unsuitable for swimming
- Avoid swimming two to three days after heavy rain
- Don't swim if water looks dirty/murky, smells or it has scum on the surface
- Be aware of potential sources of contamination nearby or upstream
Check before you swim
Contact details for more information
We give a three tier status system for swimming water quality. This is based by assessing the risk of contamination at a beach swimming site using levels of the indicator bacteria Enterococci (Ent.)
Find out more about what we test for
Green: considered suitable for swimming
Enterococci count less than 140/100ml
Orange: considered potentially unsuitable for swimming
Enterococci count more than 140/100ml
Red: considered unsuitable for swimming
Enterococci count more than 280/100ml
The map below shows the most recent results for all the coastal sites sampled in Northland. For more details about a site, click on the swimming icon.
View Larger Map
Check before you swim
In general, water can be contaminated and unsuitable for swimming if:
- there is a warning sign erected indicating water is unsuitable for swimming.
- there has been heavy rain recently.
- the water looks dirty (murky).
- there are several potential sources of contamination nearby and upstream such as:
- houses on septic tanks;
- stock with access to the water; or
- a sewage treatment plant discharge.
Who to contact
We are responsible for routine surveillance monitoring. These results are sent to the District Councils and Northland Health, who then carry out follow-up sampling as required and warn the public of any swimming sites that may be unsuitable for swimming.
For information about a specific area or a warning sign contact your local District Council or the on-duty Health Protection Officer at Northland Health.
Far North District Council
Phone: 09 401 5200
Whāngārei District Council
Phone: 09 430 4200
Kaipara District Council
Phone: 09 439 3123
Phone: 09 430 4100
For general information contact:
Northland Regional Council
Freephone: 0800 002 004