Swim Conditions



Water Quality

Data sourced from SafeSwim.org.nz (read their FAQ). See below for a table clarifying icon meanings.


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Water Quality Icon Definitions

Icon Action Level Water Depth
for Low Risk1
Very Low Risk
< 70 Enterococci/100mL Any Very low public health risk.
Low Risk
70–140 Enterococci/100mL Any Low public health risk.
Moderate Risk
140–280 Enterococci/100mL 1m Moderate risk: 1% of swimmers are likely to become ill.2
High Risk
280–420 Enterococci/100mL 2m High risk: 2–3% of swimmers are likely to become ill.2
High Risk
420–700 Enterococci/100mL 3m High risk: 3–5% of swimmers are likely to become ill.2
Very High Risk
700–980 Enterococci/100mL 4m High risk: 5–7% of swimmers are likely to become ill.2
Very High Risk
> 980 Enterococci/100mL 5m Very high risk: More than 7% of swimmers are likely to become ill.2

1 Swimming at the specified water depth reduces the risk level to low. Safeswim makes water quality predictions for a water depth of 0.5m. Enterococci levels are halved for every doubling of water depth. As such, a reading of 400 (high risk) would be reduced to 100 (low risk) at a depth of 2m. Distance from shore also reduces the levels (and risk) but that factor is not considered here.

2 Percentages are based on swimmers being close to shore at a water depth of 0.5m.

Further Information

Low counts of enterococci are acceptable, but too much faecal contamination can cause gastroenteritis or infections of ears, eyes, nasal cavity, skin, and the upper respiratory tract. When enterococci are detected above 280 per 100 mL, swimming is not recommended.


Safeswim follows international and national guidelines designed to provide water quality advice for swimmers close to shore. Activities where people are unlikely to put their head under water – like stand-up paddle boarding, boating and kayaking – or swimming in deep water offshore are less likely to lead to illness.