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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 weekly summer recreational monitoring programme has finished for 2016/2017. Weekly monitoring of selected open coast beaches will continue until the end of March 2017.

Waikato Regional Council monitors recreational water quality at nine popular open coast beaches each week during summer from early November 2016 to the last week of  March 2017 and at sixteen sites in the Waikato River catchment every second year.  The Waikato River weekly summer recreational monitoring programme began in mid December 2016 and finished the week ending 05 March 2017.

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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