Recreation information has moved to the "Can I Swim Here?" section of LAWA
The Manawatū Riverside Pathway provides a number of access points to the river along the eastern side of Palmerston North. The great access means that the river is used at many spots by people and their dogs for swimming. In summer it is suitable for swimming after at least 3 days of no rainfall and if the river is clear.
Water safety is a matter of special concern in this reach because there are old tree trunks and overhanging willows that pose a risk to swimmers.
During extended periods of low flow and warm temperatures people should check for cyanobacteria/blue green algae (shiny, smooth black or green algae that coats rocks on the river bed and has an earthy smell) as it can be toxic to dogs and humans if consumed.
Rain washes bacteria and sediment off streets, roads, plants and land into water which increases the health-risk and makes it look murky. When that happens it is best to wait until it clears again and that might take at least three days of fine weather.