Caution advised for Mount swimming spot

Warning signs were put up to deter people from entering the water at Pilot Bay in January due to high enterococci levels in the area. File photo.

Pilot Bay is among the popular Western Bay of Plenty swimming spots that swimmers are either advised to visit with caution or avoid.

Land, Air, Water Aotearoa has compiled a map of swimming spots across the country, using available data to determine the safest places to swim.

Popular sites such as the Mount Maunganui Main Beach, Omokoroa Beach, and Waihi Beach have the all clear, but Pilot Bay has been given a status of ‘usually suitable for swimming but younger children and older people may be at increased risk at times’.

The status is based on overall bacterial (enterococci for marine water, e. coli for freshwater) risk in the last three years.

Testing at Pilot Bay since October 2017 has shown enterococci levels to generally be 10 per 100ml, with spikes up to 125 per 100ml over the summer.

In January, a wastewater overflow, caused by flushed wet wipes blocking a wastewater pump, contaminated Pilot Bay and prompted Tauranga City Council to erect signs advising people not swim in the area.

A sample taken at Pilot Bay at the time came back with a result of more than 140 enterococci per 100ml, and the signs remained up until further testing showed the levels of enterococci in the water had dropped.

The Waimapu Estuary also has a similar warning as Pilot Bay placed on it, and as recently as January 23 returned a result of 1000 enterococci per 100ml.

The Wairoa River, from McLaren Falls to the sea, is deemed unsuitable for swimming, and as recently as November 9, 2017 returned a result of 5200 e. coli per 100ml at the Wairoa Bridge, and 14900 e. coli per 100ml on January 4 just below McLaren Falls.

Kaiate Stream at Kaiate Falls is also deemed unsuitable for swimming, as is the Uretara River in Katikati and Ongare Point.



Posted on 18-04-2018 08:48 | By NZer

The most amazing thing was Kiwis actually believed NZ was this nice clean place unlike any other country in the world. Funny as its dawning on most people that it is just as polluted as other countries, its just there are less people here.. classic!!!

What say you Mr. Todd Muller?

Posted on 17-04-2018 21:19 | By NZAdventurer

Here is another perfect opportunity for a photo shoot with comments and a challenge. How has it come to pass that two of our regions main rivers and tourist destinations are now un-swimmable? I think that you should demand that someone from Labour meet you for a swim challenge on the Wairoa River, as this is clearly all their fault too. We are not even close to being clean and green ...... I just wonder when all New Zealanders will begin to realise this reality.

Safety First?

Posted on 17-04-2018 16:38 | By AndyCap

"The Wairoa River, from McLaren Falls to the sea, is deemed unsuitable for swimming" - so will Waimarino and all the other tourist water activities cease?

Great look!

Posted on 17-04-2018 13:06 | By Bobby2

Tauranga City Councils past ten year legacy = a dilapidated CBD, an tottaly overburdened unplanned city infrastructure, massive unrepayable debt, and an ever degrading environment. And this is what some call boom town growth! We urgently need to get some competant, NEW civic leaders to run Tauranga as the old style revolving merry go round is no longer fit for purpose.

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