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Microbiological water quality guidelines for marine and freshwater recreational areas

Publication date:  June 2003
Publication reference number:  ME 474

These guidelines will help councils/agencies to better inform their communities of the risks related to swimming at their bathing beaches. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry for the Environment consider it very important that councils are aware of their responsibilities and that the public are informed of the health risks in a way that is consistent with these guidelines.

They completely replace the 2002 version of the Microbiological Water Quality Guidelines and all previous microbiological and bacteriological water quality guidelines.

The Ministry has received feedback from agencies implementing the Guidelines. That feedback has been collated into a selection of frequently asked questions.

Other tools

The Hazen Percentile Calculator is a tool to calculate the MAC when working with the Microbiological Water Quality Guidelines for Marine and Freshwater Recreational Areas. It can also be used to help you assess your progress towards freshwater objectives. 

Select ‘enable macros’ when opening the excel file (second download icon) on the right-hand panel of this page.

If you have any questions about the Hazen percentile calculator please send us an email environmental.reporting@mfe.govt.nz