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Contaminated beaches 'getting worse' - NZ Herald

Despite being known worldwide for our scenic shores, some of our beaches are still not stacking up and may be getting worse.

Not much appears to have changed since a survey by Consumer New Zealand at the end of 2008 showed 29 per cent of New Zealand's beaches, lakes and rivers had bacteria levels so high they were deemed unsafe by the Ministry for the Environment.

The 'worst' beaches:
Wood Bay
Kawakawa Bay
Ocean Beach

Full story

Current situation

Over the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 summers, 79 per cent of the 400-odd monitored coastal swimming spots had water quality that met the guidelines for contact recreation almost all of the time (ie, at least 95 per cent of the samples taken at these sites had safe Enterococci levels).

Two per cent of the sites breached the guidelines regularly (ie, more than 25 per cent of the samples taken from these sites were non-compliant), indicating that these sites often have poor water quality and are unsuitable for swimming.
Bacterial water quality at monitored coastal swimming spots for the 2007–2008 and 2008–2009 summers

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