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Source: Auckland Council

The water quality at Manurewa beaches is improving.

Manurewa Local Board allocated $10,000 to monitoring at four beaches over summer and the results show Weymouth South, West and St Annes Bay have intermittent contamination issues, while Kauri Point remained within recreational swimming guidelines.

However, the results from two stormwater outlet discharges to Weymouth South and St Annes Bay showed frequent elevated microbial contamination.

Manurewa Local Board chair Joseph Allan says investigations will continue as part of the Healthy Waters Safe Networks programme to identify the source.

“Regionally-funded Safeswim water quality models operated at Weymouth West and South during the summer and the data collected will be used to continue to refine things ahead of this summer.

“Our testing from 2017 to 2021 provided data to Safeswim and staff are working hard to have water quality models in place for summer at all four beaches.

“That will mean we won’t have to provide funding and that’s a good thing because it’s money we can use elsewhere to help our precious environment.”

Since the board has been funding testing, the 20-year water quality alert at Weymouth South has been removed and Weymouth West has been added to the Safeswim programme.

“We are delighted we have seen some significant improvements, but we need to continue to do everything we can to gather information that allows us to make sound decisions on the harbour,” Allan says.

The data collected indicates the public health risk of swimming and supports the development of water quality models.

Sampling shows Kauri Point had no incidents of recreational guidelines being exceeded, the two Weymouth beaches exceeded the guidelines four times each, and St Annes Bay twice.

“Even though that’s in line with the results recorded at other urban Auckland beaches, we want to see it continue to improve because the health of the harbour is critical,” Allan says.

The overall results indicate an improvement in water quality on the previous summer, and across all four beaches the maximum and average results were substantially lower than previous years, indicating an improvement over time.

Routine sampling will be undertaken as part of the Safeswim programme from November.