Bacteria warnings planned for Waikato beaches this summer

Dangerous levels of pathogens can enter the water following bouts of heavy rain.
Dangerous levels of pathogens can enter the water following bouts of heavy rain. Photo credit: Getty

It might pay to do a bit of research before heading out to Waikato beaches this summer.

The regional council is launching an online programme on Wednesday providing real time updates on bacteria levels at seven east coast and two west coast beaches.

Waikato Regional Council spokesperson Stephen Ward says swimmers need to know what they're diving in to as dangerous levels of pathogens can enter the water following bouts of heavy rain.

"That's because the heavy rain flushes contaminates from both urban and rural land into waterways which then make their way to the coast," he says.

"These contaminates may be present in the water for up to 48 hours after heavy or prolonged rainfall."

Mr Ward says it's about providing some piece of mind.

"Our monitoring programme, while it isn't picking up any major issues, will help provide assurance to the public going forward and it helps us track any trends or emerging issues," he says.

The monitoring programme will cover from Whitianga to Whiritoa, along with Sunset Beach and Ngarunui on the west coast.

Newshub.