We monitor marine sites regularly over the summer to check for bacteria (faecal contamination).
Each swim site is given a long-term grade prior to each summer monitoring season for suitability for swimming and recreation. The grade is based on the last five years of bacteria sampling. Sites that are not recommended for swimming because of their long-term grade are red on the Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website and signage should be in place at the site.
Temporary health warnings are issued when a site was graded as good to swim but there is now an increased risk of faecal contamination. Advisory notes may be present but are not an official public health warning.
Faecal contamination poses a risk to health, it can cause gastrointestinal illnesses; respiratory diseases; and eye, ear, nose, throat and skin infections.
You can also help stop the spread of marine pests that pose a major threat to our region's beautiful coastal waters.