Water testing shows Ōrākei Basin safe for people and dogs

Last Updated : 28 Feb 2019
Water testing shows Orakei Basin safe for people and dogs
From left to right: Ōrākei Local Board members Carmel Claridge (Deputy Chair), Ros Rundle and Kit Parkinson (Chairperson).

Summer is a great time to enjoy the walkways and water at Ōrākei Basin, a popular destination for dog-walkers, walkers and joggers and those into water sports.

Ōrākei Local Board prioritises the Basin, implementing a management plan which has seen significant works undertaken to maintain and enhance the area.

Key projects have involved clearing and maintenance of silt traps in the nearby Waiatarua Reserve wetland, which filter water before it goes into the Basin and specialist coastal engineers investigating the state of the Basin’s water quality providing a benchmark for ongoing monitoring.

In addition to water testing initiated by the board, sampling at the Basin to measure water quality to ensure its suitability for swimming started at the beginning of 2019 as part of Auckland Council’s Safeswim programme.

The decision to add the Basin, as well Ladies Bay, Karaka Bay and Purewa Creek to the testing regime was moved by Ōrākei ward Councillor Desley Simpson last year. 

The Ministry for Primary Industries also monitors the water for toxins produced by algae, and would issue an alert if there was any cause for concern.  

Water clear of toxins

Recent comments on social media speculated that a dog became ill and died after being at the Basin and that toxins from algae, or sea slugs, may have been the cause. However, a vet was unable to confirm this or identify what may have been the cause.

Following this, as a precautionary measure the council decided to do additional testing of the water and do a visual inspection for any sign of sea slugs.  

The results of the analysis came back as clear of toxins and toxic algae and no sea slugs were sighted.

Carmel Claridge, deputy chair of Ōrākei Local Board, says the analysis results were as expected, especially as during their visual inspection, Environmental Health officers saw no obvious indication of algal bloom in the Basin water.

"Along with paddle boarders, water-skiers, joggers and other Basin users, dog owners can be reassured that the board's monitoring of water quality will ensure the water is safe for our communities to continue their recreational activities.

“Ōrākei Local Board are delivering better pathways around the Basin, with a section from the car park through to the Water Ski Club rooms currently under construction. Once these pathways are complete, this wonderful natural amenity in our area, enjoyed by so many, will be even more pleasant to visit,” she said.

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