Topics: Te Arawa, Water, Water Safety, Water

Health Warning for Utuhina Stream

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Rotorua locals have not been able to swim in the Utuhina stream near lake-road since last year due to it being unsafe. A health warning was placed on the stream by Bay of Plenty Regional council in December.

The Utuhina stream is a popular fishing spot but has elevated levels of bacterial contamination.

Rawiri Waru who lives near the stream wants to do something to raise the quality of the water. "If we don't look after the water we will suffer. Water is life."

To meet water quality standards, the lake's nitrogen levels must drop by 320 tonnes before 2032. Mr Waru says if it helps elevate the quality of the water let's do it.   

"One side of me doesn't believe what's happening but you can't go wrong with the scientific data being produced what I am seeing along with my elders is that the water quality is dropping."  

Acting manager for the Te Arawa Lakes Trust Karen Vercoe says that they are working with other entities on a collective approach regarding the quality of the water. Lake Rotoehu and Okaro along with the Utuhina Stream near Lake Road have been deemed unsafe by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.  

Mr Waru is concerned about when the stream flows towards the lake dirt appears, it becomes deeply laden with contamination.   

Next month public hearings into the management of nutrients will take place in Rotorua under with the aim of lifting the water quality in the region.