Quality sampling

by Anonymous Author

Recreational water quality sampling has found that of the 52 monitored freshwater swimming sites in Selwyn and Canterbury, 12 have improved a grade, and four declined.

During swimming season (November to March), Environment Canterbury (ECan) assesses the health risks from faecal contamination at popular swimming sites around Selwyn and the wider Canterbury region.

ECan chief scientists Tim Davie said they test and grade popular places that people swim.

“This year 12 sites have improved. The year before, 10 sites improved and the year before that only five improved, so the trend is going in the right direction.

“The improvement demonstrates the hard work of landowners to exclude stock and protect waterways by planting and fencing. Reduced runoff from two dry summers has helped as well.”

The monitoring programme follows the national guidance provided by the Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Health. Sites graded ‘very good’, ‘good’, and ‘fair’ are considered suitable for contact recreation. Sites graded ‘poor’ to ‘fair grade’ are unsuitable for contact recreations.

“In 2009 The Canterbury Water Management Strategy set a target of 80% of Canterbury freshwater sites being graded swimmable by 2015 which we have yet to meet but we are close and heading in the right direction,” Mr Davie said.

“Overall our aim is to have 100% of Canterbury sites swimmable and a continued improvement towards ‘very good’ grades across the region.