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Beach safety just a click away this summer with Safeswim

Published: 3 November 2017

What if you could simply “jump on” before you “jumped in” with a simple click?

And all the information you needed for a fun day at the beach was before your eyes; water quality, tide times, rips, wind direction, wind speed.

When you “check before you swim” this summer, Safeswim will do just that!

In a country first, this upgraded water quality forecasting programme will provide real-time information about water safety and quality together with public health alerts at 84 of Auckland’s beaches this summer.

The forecasting system, developed by the Council group pulls together environmental data and delivers the accurate information to the website which goes live, Saturday 4 November.

The programme, which goes beyond national guidelines, is partnered by Auckland Regional Public Health Service and Surf Life Saving Northern Region.

We’re going further than any other council in New Zealand. It’s important to give Aucklanders as much information as possible to help them make informed decisions about where and when to swim," says Mayor Phil Goff.

“Our beaches, harbours and islands are the jewel in the crown of Auckland. We enjoy a fantastic environment marked by its natural beauty, but we need to do more to lift the quality of water at our beaches.

“We are embarking on an ambitious plan to significantly improve our water quality including billions of dollars of investment to stop wastewater overflows and to prioritise safety and cleanliness of our waters.

“Safeswim lets people know where it’s best to swim, but will also provide momentum to improving the quality of our streams and our beaches."

The Council group is to set to make a capital investment of $6billion over the next 20 years to improve water infrastructure to achieve this goal.

“Auckland’s beaches and harbours are clean most of the time but in heavy rain, water can find its way into the wastewater network causing overflows. The Council group are doing their part to keep stormwater and wastewater separate and we all need to ensure this is achieved,” says Watercare Chief Executive Raveen Jaduram.          

Safeswim signs will be rolled out across the region’s urban beaches from 4 November directing public to the Safeswim website for up to date information on conditions at their local beaches.

At Mission Bay a digital sign displaying water quality and safety advice is being trialled for the summer season. The technology is a first and if successful could be rolled out at other beaches across the region.

Surf Life Saving Northern Region will keep the public informed at their 13 patrolled locations using their current beach safety signage.

Beaches patrolled by Surf Life Saving Northern Region will display daily a free standing sign indicating water quality and safety.

“Enabling the public to make informed decisions about which beaches they enjoy is what Surf Life Saving is all about and information around the quality of the water we swim in is important as is understanding the hazards associated with drowning and exposure to the sun,” says CEO Matt Williams.

So before you head to the beach this summer, remember to “check before you swim” at safeswim.org.nz.