The Recreational Bathing Water Quality Programme is a joint project between the Northland Regional Council, the Northland District Health Board (DHB) and the three District Councils - Far North (FNDC), Kaipara (KDC) and Whāngārei (WDC). The aim of the programme is to provide information on how safe water is for swimming.

In Northland, swimming sites – particularly freshwater sites – are not always safe for swimming. Water can sometimes be contaminated with human or animal waste, particularly after heavy or prolonged rainfall. This ‘effluent' can contain large numbers of illness-causing organisms and swimming in contaminated water can lead to skin, eye and ear infections, and stomach and respiratory illness.