The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) recently released “league tables” comparing freshwater quality across 77 sites monitored nationwide.
In Hawke’s Bay, the rivers monitored are the Tukituki, Ngaruroro and Mohaka.
Closest to me is the measuring site at the Red Bridge (where Waimarama Road crosses the Tuki on the way to Waimarama/Ocean Beach).
At that site, the Tukituki falls in the bottom half of all rivers on virtually every measure — nutrients in the water, biological river water quality, and recreational suitability.
Nutrients — overall rank, 51 of 77 (higher number equals poorer quality), and 67 of 77 on nitrates and 61 of 77 on total nitrogen. The problem here is upstream farm run-off. Download nutrient league table here.
Biological quality (presence of microorganisms and algae) — 56 of 66 measured. Download biological league table here.
Recreational quality — overall, 30 of 76; but e-coli rank is 39 of 76. Download recreational quality league table here.
In short, heaps of clean-up needed.
P.S. Unfortunately, for this program, the Mohaka and Ngaruroro are not monitored where the pollution would be at its worst.