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  Environment » Natural Resources » Water » Rivers » Water quality monitoring - rivers and streams

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LAWA: Click here to view more from LAWA.

River Level River Level

ALL RIVERS: 100 river and stream sites with the region, including the Waikato, Waipā, Piako, Waihou and Mokau rivers and their tributaries.

Waikato River urban and rural Waikato River urban and rural

WAIKATO RIVER: 10 sites along the Waikato River.


waipa river waipa river

WAIPĀ RIVER: 5 sites along the Waipā River.


lake taupo lake taupo

LAKE TAUPŌ: 13 sites in and around Lake Taupō.


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:

  1. on the latest available data on Waikato region sites (2012-16), and
  2. on all four tests of each site’s E.  coli dataset, as required by MfE’s recently-released proposed “Clean Water” amendments to the National Policy Statement. 

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:

Water quality swimmability - Ministry for the Environment (MfE) categories

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.

Want to learn more about our water quality monitoring?

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. 

Waikato Regional Council water quality monitoring staff







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