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Northland region

Can I swim here?

Northland has some amazing coastal and freshwater swimming spots.  We test water quality at more than 40 of our most popular coastal and a dozen-plus freshwater sites so you can make informed choices about where to swim over summer.

This work is a joint programme administered by the Northland Regional Council in partnership with our three district councils and the Northland District Health Board.

Last summer 99.1 percent of samples at our coastal sites and 89.4 percent at freshwater sites met national ‘guideline values’, meaning they were considered suitable for swimming.

However, some sites (especially freshwater or those influenced by freshwater) can become unsuitable for swimming, especially after heavy rain.  We recommend you don’t swim there for two or three days after heavy rain, which can carry run-off from land.

When tests show our water quality has been affected, the health board and relevant district council are informed within 24 hours and it’s then their responsibility to take any further action needed.

This can include further site investigations to establish the source of any contamination, public warnings not to swim or gather shellfish and putting up permanent warning signs at the worst sites.

Every year the list of sites we monitor is reviewed with our partners.  Test sites are selected based on use and popularity, and historical bacteria levels to ensure we’re giving you the information you need to safely enjoy everything our region has to offer.

Monitored sites in the Northland region

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