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Where to swim and where not to this summer

Image: Bay of Plenty Regional Council website

With the temperatures rising, people are seeking out popular swimming spots in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.

While some people will be keen to jump into lake, pond, stream or river, there are some places in the Bay of Plenty that are un-swimmable.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council collects water samples from more than 70 popular coastal, river and lake recreation sites around the Bay of Plenty.

They are collected weekly throughout the summer swim season from late October to the end of March.

“The samples are checked for faecal contamination and/or for toxin-forming algae,” says the regional council.

“Our monitoring information is supplied to Toi Te Ora – Public Health who are responsible for issuing health warnings if unsafe levels of bacteria or toxic algae are detected.”

There are currently eight swimming locations in the Bay of Plenty where swimming or other contact with water at the locations should be avoided.

These locations are:

-Lower Ngongotaha Stream

-Kaiate Falls

-Utuhina Stream

-Lake Rotoehu

-2 Mile Creek, Waihi Beach

-3 Mile Creek, Waihi Beach

-Lower Waimapu Stream, Greerton

-Courtney drain, Fraser Cove.

Regardless of health warning status:

You should avoid swimming for two to three days after heavy or prolonged rain. This is because the water can be contaminated by farm and urban run-off which takes some time to settle out or flush away.

“Avoid swimming near potential sources of contamination such as flocks of birds, storm water or waste water outlets,” says the council.

“If you suspect an algal bloom is present, don't swim or take part in an activity that may result in accidental consumption or exposure to water affected by algal blooms.

“You can also see the latest algae and bacteria monitoring results along with recreational information for local swimming spots at LAWA. If you suspect an algal bloom is present, don't swim or take part in an activity that may result in accidental consumption or exposure to water affected by algal blooms.”

Choose a healthy spot to swim in, by checking the latest swimming suitability gradings and water sampling results from LAWA before you head out.

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