Check the latest water quality results
Find out if it's safe to swim at popular swimming spots in Taranaki using the Land, Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) web tool below.
View sites by category: Beaches, Lakes and Rivers.
Rāhui in place
Ngāti Mutunga has placed a rāhui on the awa from Okoki Pā (Te Rangi Hiroa/Sir Peter Buck Memorial) to the river mouth. This prevents all water recreation (including swimming, shellfish gathering and fishing).
Mimitangiatua (Mimi River)
Ngāti Mutunga has placed a rāhui on the awa, including the Haehanga stream. This prevents all water recreation (including swimming, shellfish gathering and fishing).
Water quality in Taranaki
Every Tuesday, from 1 November to 31 March, we check the water quality at 40 recreational rivers, lakes and beach sites all over Taranaki.
Water sampling results take 3 days from the time of testing to publishing on our website.
If you plan to swim today, here are some signs to look out for before jumping into the water.
- Has there been moderate to heavy rain in the last 72 hours? We advise you not to swim for three days after heavy or prolonged rain when contaminates flush from urban and rural land into waterways.
- Is the water murky, cloudy or brown? This type of water is unsuitable for swimming.
- Is the water clear? Can you see the bottom and your feet in the water? If not – its best to stay out of the water.
What to look out for - signs of poor water quality
Heavy rain flushes contaminants from urban and rural land into waterways.
Stormwater can contain human and animal waste, toxic materials, debris, agriculture and urban runoff.
In town centres, rain is also the leading cause of sewage overflows.
We advise you not to swim for 2 to 3 days after heavy or prolonged rain – even at sites that generally have good water quality.
In the case of sewage overflows, there should be no shellfish gathering for at least 28 days.
Toxic algae - Microcoleus (Phormidium)
Potentially toxic algae are naturally occurring and live in a range of waterways.
During the summer months, when rainfall is low toxic algae can start to bloom and produce toxins.
These natural toxins, known as cyanotoxins, can be a threat to humans and animals when eaten, even licked, or when water containing the toxins is swallowed.
Potentially toxic algae differ from harmless bright green algae.
In rivers (and occasionally lakes), potentially toxic algae generally form brown or black mats that grow on rocks in the river bed.
In lakes, potentially toxic algae blooms are generally green in colour and can give lakes a ‘pea soup’ appearance.
When exposed, the algae may dry out and turn a light brown or white colour and may also produce a strong musty odour.
Murky water can make the water unsuitable and unsafe for swimming.
If you can't see your feet in water that's knee-high deep - it's best to keep out of the water.
We work closely with local District Councils and the Taranaki District Health Board to keep you safe during the swimming season. Check out their websites for more information.
Taranaki District Health Board(external link)
New Plymouth District Council(external link)
Stratford District Council(external link)