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Waikato region

Can I swim here?

The Waikato region has about 1,150 km of open coast and estuarine shoreline. Our coastline has sites of outstanding beauty, and high cultural and natural values. It also provides us with valuable resources. The region has more than 100 lakes, ranging from small ponds to the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupō and has five major rivers: the Waikato, the Mokau (and Awakino), the Tongariro, the Waihou (and Piako) and the Waipa. 

The Waikato River and open coast beach weekly summer recreational monitoring programmes have finished for 2016/2017. Most of our  fresh water recreational sites are monitored every second year so do not meet the criteria for an overall recreational risk grade. In lieu of this, where sites have sufficient data Waikato Regional Council scientists have assessed recreational risk and this is reported in the summary information for each site.

Coastal water quality monitoring for recreation was restarted in 2016, so we don’t have enough data at this stage to meet the criteria for an overall recreational risk grade. We will meet these criteria in 2019 and then the recreational risk will be assessed and reported.

Waikato Regional Council monitors recreational water quality at nine popular open coast beaches each week during summer and at sixteen sites in the Waikato River catchment every second year.  The Waikato River sites were monitored in the 2016/17 summer and will be monitored next in the summer of 2018/19.

Recreational water quality is also monitored at 12 sites on Lake Taupo every second year. These sites will be monitored next in the summer of 2017/18. Ngati Tūwharetoa are the kaitiaki of the lake and hold legal title to the lake bed and tributaries. More than 30 rivers and streams flow into the lake, with only one outlet, the Waikato River. The lake is clean and clear, with low levels of nutrients and algae. It has good water quality for swimming and the plants and animals that live in it.

Monitored sites in the Waikato region

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