With summer just around the corner, it’s important to be prepared before you head for the water. And it’s easier than ever to do so through the Summer Check information site that’s now up and running on the home page of Greater Wellington Regional Council at www.gw.govt.nz.
Summer Check is a one-stop web based information site which encourages people to prepare before they head out to the beach. It provides information on toxic algae warnings, water quality, sun protection and weather conditions, water safety and harbour and boating information. There’s even information for dog owners on how they can keep their pets safe.
Greater Wellington Regional Council, Regional Public Health and local authorities work together to monitor and inform people about water quality at 87 popular swimming spots. Summer Check has been developed in response to calls for easier access to up-to-date information on toxic algae and swimming water quality.
“Summer sees people flocking to the rivers and beaches to cool off. It also creates suitable conditions for toxic algae blooms and on the other hand sudden intense rainfall that can carry contaminants and reduce water quality for two days after the event,” says environmental spokesperson for Greater Wellington Regional Council, Councillor Barbara Donaldson.
“The unusual weather patterns during this El Nino summer will not only affect water quality, the winds will affect coastal water currents and conditions and our perception of sun strength may be skewed making it easy to stay out in the sun too long and get burned.
“People are more aware of the risks and want to know as much as possible before they pack up and head to the beach or river. Summer Check aggregates current information at one site and provides links to more detailed sites.’
Summer Check will be promoted on radio and signs and quick reference codes at popular swimming spots will make it easy to check water quality just before you take the plunge.
“We want people to enjoy the summer and stay safe. Summer Check makes it easier to find out what you need to know before you go,” Councillor Donaldson says.