Routine monitoring of popular freshwater and coastal sites in Canterbury has ceased for the 2013–14 summer. Recreational water quality monitoring will resume in November 2014.
Check the swimming water quality map »
This map will give you an indication whether a swimming spot is generally suitable for swimming, based on risk of faecal contamination and water testing for faecal indicator bacteria. However, even the cleanest spots can be unsuitable to swim in from time to time when they get contaminated. We recommend that you avoid swimming during or shortly after rainfall as urban or agricultural run-off may affect bathing water quality at these times. If recent faecal contamination at the swimming spot is detected, the district council will erect signs, warning of the health risk.
The swimming water quality grades are based on the Microbiological Water Quality Guidelines for Marine and Freshwater Recreational Areas. They assess the risk of contracting a disease from pathogens and do not consider the risks from the presence of toxic algae. Where potentially toxic algae Phormidium have been observed as part of our summer monitoring programme, an additional warning has been added to the affected sites on the map.
This summary report provides information on the suitability for recreation grades for popular swimming sites across the region, and warnings for potentially toxic cyanobacteria (‘toxic algae’) in rivers and lakes that occurred over the 2012–13 summer season. Read the report (pdf 8.36 MB)
Check for advice about Christchurch Rivers and estuary and the latest information about potential contamination risk during sewerage infrastructure repairs.
If you notice any pollution, please contact the Pollution Hotline 24/7 on (03) 366 4663 in Christchurch or 0800 76 55 88 outside of Christchurch.
For information on shellfish food safety, please check: marine biotoxin alerts on foodsmart.govt.nz
(Last updated 2 December 2013)
Water quality remains particularly contaminated downstream of Swanns Road where a previous issue with a sewer main in Richmond resulted in a discharge of untreated wastewater to the Avon River/Ōtākaro in the vicinity of the Swanns Road bridge. Contact with water in the river should be avoided.
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