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Swimming at an Auckland beach? You need to read this!

With the summer sun blazing, many Aucklanders enjoy heading straight to the beach.

Sometimes though, things go wrong – and you might actually want to hit the pools instead.

At the very least, you’ll want to check the Council website.

Check Water Quality Before Swimming at Auckland’s Beaches

Approximately 50 of Auckland’s swimming beaches were labelled as ‘high risk’. The Auckland Council (via Safeswim) believe there was a significant risk that swimmers would fall ill from swimming in contaminated water.

Swim warnings are sometimes put in place following torrential rain and storm. These weather events put pressure on the wastewater and storm networks around the city.

This is not an uncommon occurrence for a few days after heavy rain – generally our beaches are tip-top of course.

Though the risk is not always there, the one take away is clear – check the water before you swim this summer, especially if after heavy rain.

Water contamination on the 3rd of January 2021
Water contamination on the 4th of January 2021

How Dangerous is Dangerous When it Comes to Auckland’s Beaches?

A red alert suggests that there is more than a 2% chance of falling ill by swimming at a beach.

This red classification is applied when Enterococci, an indicator of faecal bacteria, is found in the water. This bacteria can be found in the gut of any animal.

Thankfully Auckland does not often have ‘very high risk’ beaches.

These alerts, which would be marked in black on the maps, mean that human faeces have directly contaminated the water.

How are Water Warnings Decided?

The water quality forecasts, which are carried out by Safeswim, consider the tide, sunlight, wind, rainfall and beach type.

They carry out targeted sampling which is compared with historical results.

In addition, their forecasts are overridden if sensors detect a significant event that is expected to cause a public health risk.

Be Sure to Check Water Quality Before Swimming in Auckland this Summer

Wherever you are in Auckland, we recommend checking water quality online before taking a dip – especially following heavy rain in the region.

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