Waikato River water quality site at Ngāruawāhia Bridge. The river is lined with Alder and willow trees and just upstream on the true right is the grassy banks of Tūrangawaewae Marae. There are macrophyte beds along the river margins and the river bed consists of sand substrate. The Waikato River at this point is below Lake Taupo and the 8 hydro dams on the river. It is downstream of Hamilton City and the associated urban stormwater and wastewater discharges. From here the river runs through Huntly and lowland agricultural land out to the Tasman Sea at Port Waikato.
Landuse upstream of the monitoring site will affect the water quality. High flow events can also elevate the sediment and bacteria levels, which may lead to poor water quality and clarity.