Media release

‘Can I swim here’ launched today, includes 25 Otago sites

Wednesday 20 December 2017

A new ‘Can I swim here?’ online tool launched today means Otago residents and visitors can enjoy our rivers, lakes, and beaches with confidence this summer. The online tool shows the most up-to-date water quality information for 25 sites across our region and is freely available on

With families making the important decision of where to swim this Christmas and after a great recent spell of sunshine, the launch is well timed. It comes two weeks after Otago Regional Council staff started their weekly summer-season water quality monitoring.

Environmental Resource Scientist Rachel Ozanne is pleased to see information from samples they collect is freely available to the public.

“Each week samples are collected from 25 sites across the region and they are sent to an independent lab for water quality testing.

The LAWA website contains valuable information for swimmers on other swim smart things to look out for before taking a dip. This includes advice on checking if the water is clean and clear, avoiding swimming for two days after heavy rainfall, and looking out for other possible hazards.

Director of Stakeholder Engagement Sian Sutton is looking forward to using LAWA’s ‘Can I swim here’ tool this summer.

“This tool will help families get out and enjoy the stunning rivers, lakes, and beaches our region has to offer.

“The website covers popular sites from Lake Wanaka to St Clair Beach, so I recommend people thinking of heading out for a swim take a look,” said Sian.

LAWA is a partnership between councils, Cawthron Institute, Ministry for the Environment and Massey University and has been supported by the Tindall Foundation.


The new ‘Can I swim here?’-

For more information -

For more information contact:

Rachel Ozanne
Environmental Resource Scientist
Ph 0800 474 082

Communications contact

Sian Sutton
Director Stakeholder Engagement
Ph 0800 474082 or 027 575 1799