Can I swim here
We collect water samples from over 30 popular swimming and shellfish gathering sites between Lottin Point to the Wherowhero Lagoon to the Rere Rockslide.
Water quality is tested fortnightly between November to March and monthly for the rest of the year at some sites only.
Recreational water quality monitoring
Check water quality results on LAWA website(external link)
Water quality at most beaches in the Gisborne region is generally safe for swimming. Here's links to our popular swimming and recreation sites.
Rere Rockslide(external link) | Rere Falls(external link) | Doneraille Park(external link) | Kaiti Beach(external link) | Waimata River(external link) | Makorori Beach(external link) | Midway Beach(external link) | Makorori Beach(external link) | Waikanae Beach(external link)
Avoid lagoons and estuaries
Be aware lagoons and estuaries often have poor water quality and the bacteria can make us sick. They may seem nice, safe places for children to swim, but the quality of the water is not good. If water seldom meets health requirements a sign will be in place.
Turihaua lagoon - we do not recommend swimming in this lagoon. It often becomes blocked by a sandbar and is only flushed during heavy rain so run-off from farms upstream accumulate in the lagoon.
Hamanatua Stream lagoon - we do not recommend swimming in this lagoon. The stream empties into Wainui Beach after forming a lagoon. Fed from run-off from surrounding farmlands, the stream and lagoon are frequently contaminated.
General health warning after heavy rain
You should avoid swimming for 2-3 days after heavy or prolonged rain, even at sites that generally have good water quality.
This is because the rain flushes contaminants from rural and urban land into waterways. This takes some time to settle out or flush away, at least 2-3 days.
Avoid swimming near potential sources of contamination such as flocks of birds or storm water outlets.
Clean and clear water
Here's a handy guide - if you can't see your toes when standing in calf deep water, the water quality is not the best for a swim.
There's increased health risk from bacteria in and around lagoons, rivers and streams for 3-5 days after rain, or when water flows are low over summer.
Shellfish gathering sites
Ministry for Primary Industries monitors shellfish for shellfish poisoning that can be caused by naturally occurring toxic algae blooms.
They will issue public health warnings on their website(external link)