Real time information about 84 of Auckland’s beaches is now available via Auckland Council’s new website.
These include most Hibiscus Coast beaches, from Wenderholm, Waiwera, Hatfields and Orewa down Whangaparaoa Peninsula to Army Bay.
As well as advice about water quality and public health alerts, www.safeswim.org.nz, which was launched on November 4, provides real-time information about tide times, wave and wind conditions, strong currents, stinging jellyfish and shark sightings.
Council and Watercare developed the forecasting system in partnership with Auckland Regional Public Health and Surf Life Saving Northern Region.
Safeswim monitoring will also provide detailed information about problem areas, so that Council can identify the critical work that needs to be done to keep our rivers and harbours clean.
In a release announcing the introduction of Safeswim, Mayor Phil Goff says Council needs to do more to lift water quality at our beaches.
“We are embarking on an ambitious plan to significantly improve our water quality including billions of dollars of investment to stop wastewater overflows and to prioritise safety and cleanliness of our waters,” he says. “Safeswim lets people know where it’s best to swim, but will also provide momentum to improve the quality of our streams and beaches.”
Council and Watercare are to set to make a capital investment of $6 billion over the next 20 years to improve water infrastructure to achieve this goal.
Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram says Auckland’s beaches and harbours are clean most of the time but in heavy rain, water can find its way into the wastewater network causing overflows.
“Auckland Council and Watercare are doing their part to keep stormwater and wastewater separate and we all need to ensure this is achieved,” he says.
Signs are being rolled out across the region’s urban beaches directing people to the Safeswim website.