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  • Why this status?

    Click here for detailed information on water quality monitoring

    The science

    Summer season monitoring

    LAWA shows the best available water quality information to help you decide where to swim.

    Special Status

    Special StatusIssued: 16 Feb 2024

    Caution advised.

    Current conditions at this site may pose an elevated risk to swimmers.

    A number of dead birds have been discovered at the Waimanu Lagoons, Waikanae. It is suspected that avian botulism, a disease that causes paralysis and death in birds, is the cause. It is expected that the outbreak will extend to Waikanae Scientific Estuary Reserve, due to the proximity and movement of birds between sites. Caution is advised at both locations.

    Avian botulism does not pose a major risk to humans, however it can make cats and dogs very sick if they eat a dead bird infected with the disease.

    Most outbreaks of avian botulism occur during summer when there is less oxygen in waterways due to lower water levels. This causes decaying plant growth and the perfect microclimate for the disease. Outbreaks are managed through the removal of infected carcasses, and the disease generally runs its course once cooler weather arrives.

    Kāpiti Coast District Council (KCDC) staff are visiting the area daily to remove dead animals and dispose of them. They also tested water from the lagoon water earlier in the week and confirmed there is no toxic algae present. They are taking additional measures to protect the public such as erecting signage at the site.  

    What should you do?

    • Keep yourself and your animals away from any dead birds you find in or near waterways.
    • Phone KCDC on 04 296 4700 or 0800 486 486 so they can remove and dispose of the carcasses safely.

    For more information on avian botulism www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/our-district/our-environment/biodiversity/sustaining-and-restoring-our-environment/avian-botulism

    Reminder

    Heavy rain flushes contaminants from urban and rural land into waterways and we advise you not to swim for 2 – 3 days after heavy or prolonged rain – even at sites that generally have good water quality. Check that the water is clean and clear before taking a dip.

    Summer season monitoring history

    • Samples this season
    • Samples from last 5 years
    Enterococci sampling graph
    • View as graph
    • View as donut

    What do the monitoring results mean?

    Suitable for swimming – The monitoring result met national water quality guidelines at the time of testing.
    Caution advised – The monitoring result was slightly elevated at the time of testing. Water quality generally suitable for swimming, but young children, elderly or those with compromised health may be at increased risk of illness.
    Unsuitable for swimming – The monitoring result did not meet the national guidelines at the time of testing.

    Long-term grade information

    Long-term grade based on five years of data
    Minimum data points required 50 Highest Enterococci per 100ml value {{riskData.maxValue | number:0}}
    Number of data points available {{riskData.dataPoints | number:0}} Lowest Enterococci per 100ml value {{riskData.minValue | number:0}}
    Hazen 95th percentile result {{riskData.hazenResult}} Long-term grade
    {{riskData.rating}}

    What do the long-term grade icons mean?

    Excellent – Risk of illness is less than 1% from contact with the water during the summer bathing period.
    95th percentile of Enterococci / 100 mL is 0 - 40.
    Good – Risk of illness is less than 5% from contact with the water during the summer bathing period.
    95th percentile of Enterococci / 100 mL is 41 - 200.
    Fair – Risk of illness is between 5 and 10% from contact with the water during the summer bathing period.
    95th percentile of Enterococci / 100 mL is 201 - 500.
    Poor – Risk of illness is more than 10% from contact with the water during the summer bathing period.
    95th percentile of Enterococci / 100 mL is more than 500.
    Not available – There were not enough data to determine the long-term grade at this site.
  • Unpatrolled

    Stay safe - never swim or surf alone. Find out more.

    Swimmers

    Unpatrolled Beach

    When swimming at an unpatrolled beach please watch out for yourself and others, never swim or surf alone, be aware of the dangers and know your limits. If in doubt, stay out.

  • What's at this site?

    Find out all recreational activities and facilities at this site

    Activities & facilities

    Site suitable for these activities and has these facilities

    Our lakes, rivers, and beaches are great natural playgrounds but they can be unpredictable.  Be aware of other potential risks such as rips, strong currents, sudden drop offs, or underwater objects before jumping in.  LAWA recommends that you avoid swimming for 2 - 3 days after heavy rainfall and follow the advice of any warning signs in place.

    Activities

    Swimming
    Surfing
    Dog walking

    To find out when and where you can exercise your dog please refer to your local authority.

    View exercise areas

    Walking

    Facilities

    Car parking

How do I get there?

Waikanae Beach