Swimming Water Quality and Health Warnings

​​Water quality at popular coastal, river and lake recreation sites and shellfish beds in the region are surveyed and monitored by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.​

These sites are monitored for faecal contamination (bacterial monitoring) from October to March each year and for toxin-forming algae species (algal bloom monitoring) from October to June each year.​

If a recreational water site is found to be significantly contaminated, with risk to public health, Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service informs the public by issuing a health warning and Council erects warning signs (signs are removed once the water quality improves).

If you swim in or drink contaminated water, you risk getting sick.​​

As a public health precaution, it is routinely recommended that people avoid swimming in rivers, streams and harbour areas for 48 hours after heavy rainfall events.​​

Look before you leap this summer

The waterways and coastal areas of the Western Bay are popular places to visit during summer – but it's a good idea to check out the quality of water before you jump in.

Keeping you in touch with the water quality of local estuaries, beaches, rivers and lakes is the job of Toi Te Ora Public Health.

If a recreational water site is significantly contaminated, Toi Te Ora will erect signs to warn where swimming is not advised due to the health risk.

Waterways are tested regularly for bacterial contamination from human or animal faeces, and for the bacteria which cause blue-green algae or algal blooms.

So when you're swimming or collecting shellfish this summer - look before you leap and make the most of our wonderful waterways.​

You will find current local health warnings at www.toiteora.govt.nz/health warnings

Visit Toi Te Ora Public Health's website​ and read their press release: Look Before You Leap and Enjoy our Waterways this Summer and keep everyone free from tummy bugs, sore throats and skin infections! ​


For ​current warnings and further information:

Bay of Plenty Regional Council - list of current warnings and latest monitoring results

Toi Te Ora Public Health - more information on health risks and what to look out for

Page reviewed: 20 Nov 2018 2:00pm