The table below lists the overall gradings for popular swimming spots throughout the region. The gradings are based on the Microbiological Water Quality Guidelines for Marine and Freshwater Recreational Areas (2003), but have been adapted for the Manawatu-Whanganui Region after a reveiw by staff from Mid-Central Health Board Public Health Services and Horizons Regional Council.
The gradings provide a realistic assessment of the long-term microbiological health-risks of swimming at the swimming spots. They do not provide information about the potential health-risks to people and animals from benthic blue-green algae growths sometimes observed during summer low flow periods in some rivers. Updated information on blue-green algae can be found on our "Summer Monitoring" web page.
The gradings are long-term indicators of water quality and should not be relied upon for day-to-day guidance at rivers and streams. We recommend you use the following rules of thumb at freshwater swimming spots:
|Duddings Lake||Very Good*|
|Kahuterawa Stream @ Kahuterawa Reserve||Good|
|Kai Iwi Beach||Fair|
|Kai Iwi Stream @ Archers’ Bridge||Poor|
|Kaikokopu Stream @ Himatangi Beach||Poor|
|Lake Wiritoa||Very Good*|
|Manawatu River @ Hopelands Reserve||Fair*|
|Manawatu River @ Ashurst Domain||Fair*|
|Manawatu River @ Albert Street||Fair|
|Manawatu River @ Whirokino Boat Ramp||Fair|
|Mangahao River @ Marima Domain||Fair|
|Mangatainoka River @ S H 2 Reserve||Fair*|
|Mowhanau Stream @ Kai Iwi Beach||Poor|
|Ohau River @ Gladstone Reserve||Good*|
|Ohau River @ Kimberley Reserve||Good*|
|Ohau River @ Kirkcaldies Reserve||Good*|
|Oroua River @ Timoana Park||Fair|
|Pohangina River @ Totara Reserve||Good|
|Rangitikei River @ Mangaweka||Good|
|Rangitikei River @ Vinegar Hill||Fair|
|Tokomaru River @ Horseshoe Bend||Good|
|Wairarawa Stream @ Waiterere Beach||Poor|
|Whanganui River @ Cherry Grove||Fair|
|Whanganui River @ Mosquito Point||Fair|
|Whanganui River @ Town Bridge||Fair|
* Grades marked with an asterisk denote lakes and rivers where blue-green algae have been observed at potential health-risk densities. The risk is greatest after an extended period of low flows. Horizons Regional Council monitors blue-green algal densities and signage is installed if the potential for toxins becomes a concern during the summer season.
Very Good - Considered satisfactory for swimming at all times, and therefore may not require monitoring on a regular basis.
Good - Satisfactory for swimming most of the time except following rainfall. Water quality only takes a short time to recover (1-2 days).
Fair - Generally satisfactory for swimming, though there are many potential sources of faecal material. Caution should be taken during periods of rainfall, and swimming avoided if water is discoloured. Water quality may take 3-4 days to recover.
Poor - Generally not okay for swimming, as indicated by historical results. Swimming should be avoided, particularlyby the very young, the very old and those with compromised innunity. Permanent warning signs may be erected at these sites.
Very Poor - Avoid swimming, as there are direct discharges of faecal material. Permanent signage will be erected at the beach stating that swimming is not recommended