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Ashley River at Gorge Bridge

The Ashley Gorge is situated a short distance from Christchurch, in the Oxford district.

* Recreational Update: The risk rating for 2017 is not yet available. The risk rating should be available later in November 2017.

*Scientific Data Update: Due to an error in data being displayed for this site, scientific data has been temporarily removed. For urgent information please contact Environment Canterbury's Customer Service.

This site is monitored for both water quality and ecosystem health and is located within a popular picnic and camping area at the base of the Mount Thomas forest. There are toilet facilities and a playground in the picnic area. Deep swimming holes along the river attract swimmers.

Recreational water quality at this site is influenced by flow related spikes in E. coli. Swimming at the site is not recommended up to 48 hours after rainfall.

Recreation
Recreational water quality

Summer 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.

Overall Recreation Risk:

The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site over the recreational bathing season. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (E. coli) data collected over the last three years during the summer monitoring months. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.

See the factsheet on coastal and freshwater recreation monitoring for more information.

  • Summer season monitoring

    A recent snapshot based on a single sample

    NO DATA

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    Summer season monitoring history

    • Last 4 Samples
    • All samples this season
    E. coli sampling graph
    E. coli sampling table
    Sample Date Status Result Observations

    What do the icons mean?

    Acceptable – continue routine monitoring
    Acceptable – Alert. Increase monitoring and investigate source
    Unacceptable – Action. Immediate re-sample, public warning issued if required, increased monitoring and investigate source
  • Overall recreation risk

    The long term risk status based on three years of data

    {{rating() | uppercase}}

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    Overall recreation risk information

    Human health for primary recreation: overall recreation risk
    Minimum data points required 30 Number of data points available {{dataPoints() | number:0}}
    Lowest E. coli per 100ml value {{minValue() | number:0}} Highest E. coli per 100ml value {{maxValue() | number:0}}
    Hazen percentile result {{hazenResult() | number:0}} Overall recreation risk {{rating()}}

    What do the icons mean?

    VERY LOW RISK
    People are exposed to a very low risk of infection (less than 0.1%) from contact with the water.
    LOW RISK
    People are exposed to a low risk of infection (between 0.1 and 1%) from contact with the water.
    MODERATE RISK
    People are exposed to a moderate risk of infection(between 1 and 5%) from contact with the water.
    CAUTION
    People are exposed to a high risk of infection (greater than 5%) from contact with the water.
    NO DATA
    There are not enough data points (samples) at this site to generate an Overall Recreation Risk result.

Overall Recreation Risk: Very Low Risk
When a site is classed as very low risk, the risk of illness from exposure to E. coli is less than 0.1%.

View a factsheet on all recreational water quality monitoring

Overall Recreation Risk: Low Risk
When a site is classed as low risk, the risk of illness  from exposure to  E. coli is between 0.1 and 1%. 

View a factsheet on all recreational water quality monitoring

Overall Recreation Risk: Moderate Risk
When a site is classed as moderate risk, the risk of illness  from exposure to  E. coli is between 1 and 5%.

View a factsheet on all recreational water quality monitoring

Overall Recreation Risk: Caution
When a site is classed as Caution, the risk of illness from exposure to E. coli is greater than 5%.

View a factsheet on all recreational water quality monitoring

A minimum of 30 samples are required to calculate an overall recreation risk. For more information on this site view the Summer Season Monitoring

This data is collected by trained council staff and analysed by accredited laboratories. Regional Councils are currently reviewing the methodology of how to best calculate recreational water quality. Once new guidelines are established, they will be applied to this data and the appropriate Cawthron Tick will be given.

Ecology
Ecological data for this site

This dashboard shows the result of macroinvertebrate sampling at this site.  It displays three measures, macroinvertebrate community index, taxanomic richness and percent EPT

If 'N/A' is showing, there are not enough data to calculate a 5-year median.  You can select the 'Show more information+' box under each measure to see the available historic data.

  • MCI

    Quality class based on MCI score
    The median of the last 5 years of data

    {{MciText | uppercase}}

    The Macroinvertebrate Community Index uses aquatic macroinvertebrates to assess the health of streams in New Zealand.
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    MCI sample history at this site

    Showing:
    MCI for Ashley River at Gorge Bridge
    MCI score

    What do the icons mean?

    EXCELLENT
    MCI score of more than 119. Streams in excellent ecological condition. Indicative of excellent water quality and/or habitat conditions.
    GOOD
    MCI between 100 and 119. Streams in good ecological condition. Indicative of good water quality and/or habitat conditions.
    FAIR
    MCI between 80 and 99. Streams in fair ecological condition. Indicative of only fair water quality and/or habitat condition.
    POOR
    MCI less than 80. Streams in poor ecological condition. Indicative of poor water quality and/or poor habitat conditions.
  • Taxonomic richness

    The median of the last 5 years of data

    {{medians.TaxaMedian || 'N/A'}}
    Taxonomic richness is the number of different taxa present in an ecological community identified to the best possible level.
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    Taxa richness history at this site

    Showing:
    Taxa richness for Ashley River at Gorge Bridge
    Number of taxa
  • Percent EPT richness

    The median of the last 5 years of data

    {{medians.EptMedian || 'N/A'}}
    EPT are macroinvertebrates that are sensitive to water pollution. These are Ephemeroptera (mayfly), Plecoptera (stonefly) and Trichoptera (caddisfly).
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    EPT history at this site

    Showing:
    Percent EPT richness for Ashley River at Gorge Bridge
    EPT %
Can I trust this data?

The Cawthron Institute has worked alongside regional councils to verify the processes and methods used for macroinvertebrate data collection, processing of the data in the laboratory, quality control in the field and laboratory and the statistical analysis and interpretation of the results presented.

For more details on each tick, see our 'Can I Trust this Data' Factsheet.

Can I trust the data for this site?
Data Collection

Macroinvertebrates are sampled at this site as part of council's stream health monitoring programme, as recommended by proposed national guidelines.

Sampling - Frequency

Macroinvertebrate sampling is done annually or more frequently at this site as recommended by proposed national guidelines. Therefore, data shown here follow current best practice guidelines.

Sampling - Protocols

This site is a hard-bottomed site and appropriate sampling protocols have been applied.  Data shown here have been collected using current best-practice.

Sampling - Habitat

Macroinvertebrate sampling is done in all meso-habitats (i.e., pool, run and riffle), rather than just in riffle habitat, as current guidelines suggest. All-habitat sampling provides a more comprehensive description than riffle-only sampling of the invertebrate community at a stream site. However, comparisons made between macroinvertebrate data collected in all habitat and data collected in just riffle habitat need to be treated with caution.

Sampling - Stand-down period

This council does not collect any macroinvertebrate samples for up to two weeks after a flood greater than three times the median flow as recommended by proposed national guidelines. Therefore, data collected at this site is following best practice.

Processing - Protocol

Samples at this site have been processed following protocol P2 which is recommended by proposed national guidelines. However, the individual count number has been reduced from 200 to 100 (with a scan for rare taxa).  Data processed at this site are therefore not following best practice and conclusions based on this data need to be treated with caution.

Quality Control - Field

Data collected at this site had some form of field quality control done.

Quality Control - Lab

Data processed at this site has had one of the three Laboratory Quality Control Protocols (i.e., QC1, QC2,Q C3) applied. Data shown here is more robust than data with no laboratory QC applied.

Recreational activities
Site suitable for these activities
  • Suitable for swimming
  • Suitable for fishing
  • Suitable for boats/kayaking
  • Suitable for picnicing
  • Suitable for walking
  • Suitable for dogs

Rivers and Lakes are great natural  playgrounds but they can be unpredictable. Be aware of the other potential risks before jumping in.

See this site