Beach and sea
|Before heading out to enjoy the water please check metservice weather and be prepared.|
With the weather warming up, it's nearly time for a dip at your favourite beach or river swimming hole.
Update posted 5 December 2013
Water quality warnings for Plimmerton Beach
Signage is about to be placed around the Taupo Stream area on Plimmerton beach to ask parents to keep children away from the stream outlet as high coliform counts make the area unsafe.
Investigations are ongoing to locate and then remediate the source of this pollution.
Jenny Brash from Greater wellington Regional Council advises, “Many of our streams go through built up areas and swamps on their way to our beaches. These can become polluted on their way by farm animals, birds, stormwater and other waste. Both GWRC and PCC monitor these streams and beach outlets regularly and information about water quality is on both council’s websites.
Do take care when swimming at our beaches particularly 2-3 days after rain. Please keep children away from stream outlets which are likely to be polluted. Reminder signs will be placed around these areas.
Plimmerton Residents’ Association will be inviting Greater Wellington Regional Council and PCC specialists to one of the first meetings in 2014 to ensure that this situation is being resolved.
Posted 5 December - Cr Tim Sheppard reminds us about storm drains
Why be concerned about storm water pollution prevention?
What types of pollutants contaminate storm water runoff?
What can be done to prevent storm water pollution?
In summary, only clean rainwater (with the exception of some permitted discharges) can be discharged to a storm drain. All work, construction, cleaning and other activities conducted outdoors must be carried out in a way that prevents wastewater and contamination such as trash, debris, dirt, construction materials and hazardous materials from entering storm drain systems.
But if there's been a downpour, Greater Wellington Regional Council advises people to wait for at least 48 hours after heavy rain before taking a dip.
"It pays to be careful for the first two days after heavy rain as the rainfall can wash contaminants from agricultural and urban areas into our waterways and coasts," Greater Wellington Environmental Monitoring and Investigations Manager Ted Taylor.
During the bathing season (from mid November to the end of March) Greater Wellington, local councils and Regional Public Health, work together to monitor water quality at 21 river and 74 beach sites across the Wellington region.
Results are posted on Greater Wellington's website www.gw.govt.nz/on-the-beaches, using a traffic light system. The health risk is determined from the number of bacteria found in water samples. A green light is for go and means the health risk is low.
River users should also keep an eye out for potentially toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), which may be prevalent during low river flows and warm temperatures. Blue green algae can be fatal to dogs and livestock if eaten, and can make humans sick. Algal cover is assessed weekly during summer at 21 popular river spots throughout the region.
Greater Wellington's Environmental Monitoring and Investigations Team, in association with Regional Public Health and local councils, uses a two-tiered warning sign system to advise river users of the risk from toxic algae.
A medium risk sign means users can still swim or walk their dogs but should keep an eye out for algal mats. A high risk sign means people should avoid contact recreation and dog walking in that part of the river.
The warning system is based on river bed coverage and algal mat exposure and follows the interim NZ Guidelines for Cyanobacteria in Recreational Fresh Waters.
More information about toxic algae, including pictures and current warnings, can be found at www.gw.govt.nz/toxic-algae. If you see any exposed or easily accessible algal mats, contact Greater Wellington, (04) 384 5708 or your local council's environmental health officer.
Enjoy your time at the beach.
All beaches in Plimmerton are alcohol-free zones and infringements should be reported to the police. See also dog exercise areas, for restricted summer hours for dogs on our beaches.
You must keep a good lookout at all times. It is
your responsibility to stay alert for other boats,
swimmers, dive boats, kayaks, hazards and
obstacles. Keep focused on the water ahead,
especially at speed. Listen as well as look.
- Within 200m of the shore
- Within 200m of a boat displaying a diver’s tag
- Within 50m of any other boat
- Within 50m of a person swimming
- On a power boat if any person has any part of their body outside the rails or edge of the deck.
The buoys at Karehana Bay and Plimmerton beaches mark the 200m line. If you see people breaking the law, call the Harbour Radio on 388 5470 with time, place and craft details.
For information about boating follow these links:
Plimmerton is one of the best wavespots for windsurfers in Wellington. Check out Wellington Windsurfing Association for more information about Plimmerton and other popular windsurfing spots around Wellington.
Plimmerton Kindy holds an annual mid-winter dip around June on the beach area closest to the Boating Club (Karehana Bay). Hot drink and food stalls are set up along the beach on the day to help you warm up on the inside after taking the freezing cold dip. So why not give it a go sometime if you’re feeling brave enough.