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Waiwhakaiho River adjacent to Lake Rotomanu

This river drains an extensively developed farmland catchment and flows through six kilometres of urban New Plymouth upstream of this popular recreational area which is about 700m from the sea. Large flocks of seagulls and ducks are present in the lower reaches between Merrilands Domain and this site, near the coastal walkway and Te Rewa Rewa Bridge. Investigations have shown that bathing guideline exceedances at this site are caused by birdlife.

This site is used mainly for whitebaiting (in season), and walking.

For all sites, the Council advises:
Avoid for three days after heavy rain, if the river is high, or if you cannot see the bottom clearly.

Summer recreational surveys showed that 8% (2015-2016) and 38% (2016-2017) of samples met the freshwater microbiological water quality guidelines prepared by the Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Ministry of Health (MfE, 2003)  and did not exceed the ‘Action’ level (>550 E.coli/100mls). 

The State of the Environment technical report showing the freshwater recreational monitoring results for 2016-2017 is available at www.trc.govt.nz/environmental-monitoring-technical-reports/

The Council also monitor ecological health at this site. We use an ecological index based on the macroinvertebrate communities (tiny animals including insects, crustaceans, mulluscs, worms and leeches) found in waterways to measure ecological health. 

Macroinvertebrate data for Taranaki shown on LAWA may vary from some data reported elsewhere by the Taranaki Regional Council. This variation is because the level of macroinvertebrate identification used by the TRC has some minor differences from that used by other Councils and LAWA, affecting the taxonomic richness and % EPT taxa scores. Taranaki Regional Council also uses Macroinvertebrate Community Index (MCI) scores which have been modified to reflect the conditions experienced in Taranaki, while the scores shown here are based on the National MCI scores. For more details, the full state of the environment report is available at https://www.trc.govt.nz/council/plans-and-reports/environmental/environmental-monitoring-technical-reports/

 

 

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.

Recreational activities
Site suitable for these activities
  • Suitable for fishing
  • Suitable for picnicing
  • Suitable for walking

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