The Waikato Regional Council monitors a representative sample of rivers and streams across the region to determine how good the water quality is for contact recreation (such as swimming and water skiing).
This indicator measures the numbers of faecal bacteria and the water clarity in our rivers and streams. It is measured as an average 'pass rate' for two water quality measures:
If water quality is poor then recreational activities such as swimming, kayaking and water-skiing can be unsafe. Sometimes ‘bad bugs’ from human and animal faeces – micro-organisms such as protozoans, bacteria and viruses – can get into waterways. These ‘bad bugs’ can cause illness when people are exposed to them. Other contaminants such as fine silts and clays reduce the clarity of the water, making it difficult to see and avoid submerged hazards like snags.
River water quality for contact recreation is better in some parts of the region (for example, the upper Waikato River and tributaries of Lake Taupō) than in others (for example, Hauraki and the lowland tributaries of the Waikato River). This is mainly because of the greater intensity of land use in the lowland parts of the region.
More detail on this indicator, including how and where Waikato Regional Council collects this information, is available in the Technical Information page.
You can order any of these documents from our library. Most documents will incur a charge.
Tulagi, A. 2014. Waikato River Water Quality Monitoring Programme: Data Report 2013. Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2014/31. Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton.
Tulagi, A. 2014. Regional Rivers Water Quality Monitoring Programme Data Report 2013. Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2014/30. Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton.
This indicator is updated annually.
Water Quality Scientist - Science and Strategy Directorate