22 Dec 2014

New online tool for beach water quality

7:49 am on 22 December 2014

Beachgoers will be able to check the water quality of their favourite beach before getting wet, thanks to an online initiative led by the Ministry for the Environment.

Omaha Beach

The website now covers water quality at 350 beaches around New Zealand. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The website with information on 350 beaches - accessible at Land Air Water Aotearoa - is a joint venture between the Government, regional councils, the Cawthron Institute and the Tindall Foundation.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said the project had been done so the millions of New Zealanders who go to the beach to swim, surf and play had access to good information on the water they were swimming in.

The water at 14 percent of New Zealand beaches is considered to pose a high risk to human health, based on long-term sampling.

But 64 percent present a low or very low long-term risk, and 22 percent of an acceptable standard.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs