Waikato Regional Council measures water quality every month at 115 river and stream sites throughout the region. These include the Waikato, Waipā, Waihou and Piako rivers and the many streams that flow into them. We also monitor sites at Lake Taupō and at the streams that flow into it.
Water quality in rivers and streams is influenced by the surrounding land uses and land management practices. So, here in the Waikato, we find that water quality is generally excellent in our upland bush areas, but it deteriorates markedly in the urban and lowland farming areas.
You can click on an image and link above to locate a site you're interested in, and find out more about its water quality.
For an overall summary of these results and a snapshot of how we're tracking regionally, check out our environmental indicators.
The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has introduced new categories to report on the suitability of rivers and lakes for human contact recreation puroses ("swimmabilty") at national and regional levels.
Waikato Regional Council's monitoring information is based:
You can see a lot more information, including maps showing the Ministry for the Environment's suitability of rivers and lakes for swimming by checking out these links:
Ministry for the Environment: Clean Water – a package of Government initiatives to improve our fresh water
Ministry for the Environment: Rivers and lakes in the Waikato region
|1: Blue river – Excellent water quality. It is OK to swim||2: Green river – Good water quality. It is OK to swim most of the time.||3: Yellow river – Fair water quality. It is OK to swim some of the time. Check LAWA or regional council first.||4: Orange river - Intermittent water quality. Check LAWA or regional council first. Note that Waikato Regional Council doesn't recommend immersion in orange-graded waters.||5: Red river – Poor water quality. It is not OK to swim.|
Find out more about how we measure water quality.
Check out our publications for reports, science and information about our regional rivers, their water quality, and Waikato Regional Council's monitoring programmes.