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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Young

Our Water Testing Programme

Part of what we do at Rivercare is arrange water testing. We do this to monitor what is happening in the streams and the awa. We need the data to advocate for action based on evidence.

Where do we test?

We are doing testing in places that no one else is, such as at Tui Glen, Riverpark boat ramp, Central Park Drive bridge and Tawa Esplanade.

What are we finding?

 We are regularly finding levels of harmful bacteria over safe amounts, sometimes as much as 80x higher! Even out on the awa where people are swimming, fishing and doing water sports, we are seeing these levels

 We did not have a month free of sewage overflows from June 2022 to the end of March 2023

 Our testing shows that parts of the awa are being continually contaminated further upstream

 We often see a correlation between rainfall and contamination, which is to be expected, although we have been surprised by how high the levels are.

 Sometimes, we are seeing high levels of bacteria where there has been no rainfall. This is concerning and most likely means that there is a continuous sewage leak. We have seen this at Swan Arch, Riverpark and Tawa.

Now what?

All of this isn't great news, but we believe that by having a clear picture of the scale of the issue, we can advocate for resources and infrastructure upgrades. We will continue to draw attention to the overflows and leaks.

How can I help?

You can help us in our work by reporting to Watercare (and telling us) about any sewage overflows or smells, liking our page, engaging with our content and subscribing to our mailing list. This sends the message that people care about what happens to the awa and makes it more likely that we can secure funding, which we need to continue our work.


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