‘Can I swim here?’ website ready for summer swimmers

20 Dec 2017, 12:13 PM

A new 'Can I swim here?' online tool launched today means Northland residents and visitors can enjoy our rivers, lakes, and beaches with confidence this summer.

The online tool shows the most up-to-date water quality information for 60 sites across our region and is freely available on LAWA.org.nz/swim

With Northlanders now making the important decision of where to swim this Christmas, the launch is well timed. It comes two weeks after Northland Regional Council staff started their weekly summer-season water quality monitoring.

Environmental Monitoring Manager Jean-Charles Perquin is part of the local water monitoring team and is pleased that information from samples the team collects is freely available to the public.

"Each week we collect samples from 60 sites across the region and they are sent to an independent lab for water quality testing," he says.

"The results are shown on LAWA's 'Can I swim here?' site with unsafe-for-swimming faecal indicator bacteria levels marked red, and good levels marked green."

The LAWA website contains valuable information for swimmers on other swim-smart things to look out for before taking a dip. This includes advice on checking if the water is clean and clear, avoiding swimming for two days after heavy rainfall, and looking out for other possible hazards.

Northland Regional Council chairman Bill Shepherd is looking forward to using LAWA's 'Can I swim here' tool this summer.

"This information will help families get out and enjoy the stunning rivers, lakes, and beaches our region has to offer.

"The website covers popular swimming spots such as Ocean Beach and Lake Taharoa, and I recommend people look at the information before heading out for a swim."

LAWA is a partnership between councils, Cawthron Institute, Ministry for the Environment and Massey University and has been supported by the Tindall Foundation.

The new 'Can I swim here?'- www.lawa.org.nz/swim
For more information - www.lawa.org.nz/learn