Media release

Can I swim here? ORC monitoring popular swimming spots around Otago

Thursday 12 December 2019

Although you might be fooled by the recent wet weather, summer has arrived.

Togs are being dusted off and people are heading to their favourite swimming spots to take a dip.

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) monitors popular swimming spots around Otago from now until the end of March to make sure they’re safe for swimming.

The water is regularly tested for bacteria that can make people sick, from skin and eye irritations to upset tummies.

Otago generally has good water quality, but even sites with good water quality can be affected by heavy rainfall that washes contaminants off the land and into the water. Because of this, ORC recommends people stay out of the water for at least two days after heavy or prolonged rain, or if the water is murky and you can’t see your toes when standing calf-deep.

ORC provides their monitoring information to LAWA (Land, Air, Water, Aotearoa), who puts up-to-date swimming information on their website at

Before you head to your favourite beach, river or lake this summer—either in Otago or anywhere else in New Zealand—head to the LAWA website to confirm the water is safe for swimming.