Auckland's filthiest beaches: Where 'faecal contamination' is worst

If you're thinking about hitting the beach to cool down, avoid these popular swimming spots or risk serious health effects from the putrid poo-soup water.

Auckland Council has blacklisted 12 places as unsafe for swimming, citing concerns over "long-term water quality".

"People are exposed to a moderate to high risk of infection from contact with the water," the Council warns.

"The beach's water quality is considered unsuitable for swimming."

On Wednesday, Auckland Council announced long-term public health warnings at four Manukau Harbour beaches - Armour Bay, Taumanu East, Clarks Beach and Weymouth Beach - have been lifted. These beaches are now swimmable this summer. 

The main risk is from "faecal contamination", often caused by problems with the wastewater system.

When contaminated by human or animal faeces, the water can contain disease-causing bacteria, viruses and protozoa (such as salmonella, campylobacter or giardia).

These can cause illnesses including gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, ear and eye infections and skin infections.

All the beaches are repeat offenders, also included in last year's list of beaches to avoid in summer.

The following spots are the ones to avoid:

  • Cox's Bay
  • Little Oneroa Lagoon
  • Piha Lagoon
  • Te Henga (Bethells) Lagoons
  • Wood Bay
  • Tītīrangi Beach
  • Meola Reef
  • Wairau Outlet
  • North Piha Lagoon
  • Laingholm Beach
  • Green Bay
  • Fosters Bay