Wānaka Sun       

Lake safe for swims so far

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 24 Dec, 2020 | By Jo Galer newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Summer water quality monitoring is now underway, with latest Lake Wānaka sampling showing it is good for swimming.

Before taking a dip, people are being encouraged to look at the ‘Can I Swim Here?' tool on the website for Land, Air, Water Aotearoa LAWA, www.lawa.org.nz/swim. Or, they will see a reminder of the website's details on new signs that have just been erected around Lake Wānaka. 

LAWA will collect water quality data for swimming from across the whole country from now until March.

ORC Senior Scientist – Water Quality Jason Augspurger said the results were a good reminder of the impact that weather can have on water quality.

“Rainfall is not the only factor in water quality, but it can be a big one. We've had a good few days without rain in Otago and we're seeing that reflected in good water quality results throughout the region,” said Dr Augspurger.

“Equally, this is a good reminder to avoid swimming for 2-3 days after heavy rainfall, as rain can wash contaminants off land and into waterways, which leads to water quality issues.

“It's important to learn how to recognise these blooms in freshwater, and avoid swimming wherever you encounter them.”

To learn more about potentially toxic algae, visit https://www.lawa.org.nz/learn/factsheets/potentially-toxic-algae/.

Read edition 1006 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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