Waterway monitoring

The Council currently monitors many waterways within Christchurch and Banks Peninsula for a range of aspects, including water quality, sediment quality and aquatic ecology.

This monitoring is undertaken for consenting purposes, and also to uphold the requirements of our policies and plans.

The Christchurch City Council currently monitors water quality at over forty waterways sites within Christchurch City monthly.

Sites are typically monitored for the following parameters:

  • dissolved copper
  • dissolved lead
  • dissolved zinc
  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • conductivity
  • dissolved oxygen
  • Enterococci 
  • Escherichia coli 
  • total water hardness
  • total ammonia (ammoniacal nitrogen)
  • Nitrate Nitrogen
  • Nitrite Nitrogen
  • Nitrate-Nitrite-Nitrogen
  • Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen
  • pH
  • Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus
  • salinity
  • Total Suspended Solids
  • water temperature
  • turbidity

The results of this monitoring are presented annually in a report that assesses differences between sites and over time, and compares the results to guideline levels, to determine sites and parameters of concern.

The current and past reports can be found in the Reports section below. The latest results are also presented in the map below, which can be manipulated for sites and parameters of interest. More information on how to use this map can be found at the bottom of the facts, stats and figures page.


City-wide surface water quality reports

City-wide surface water quality summary brochures

Other monitoring reports

The Council has monitored the aquatic ecology and sediment quality of many waterways in the area for a number of years.

Ecologist monitoring the Avon with electric fishing gear (Probe and net)Monitoring is undertaken in a different catchment per year, on a five-yearly rotating catchment basis. Some aquatic ecology sites are also monitored annually.

These surveys include assessments of riparian and instream habitat, aquatic plants and algae, aquatic insects and fish. Sediment is typically analysed for the following parameters:

  • Particle size distribution
  • Total recoverable copper, lead and zinc
  • Total organic carbon
  • Total phosphorus
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Semi-volatile organic compounds.

The results are presented in reports assessing the condition of the waterways and parameters of concern, based on relevant guidelines, as well as any changes over time.

The Council summarises the monitoring of water quality, sediment quality and ecology into annual waterway report cards, which gives a grade for each catchment from A to E.

Five-yearly monitoring reports

Avon River

Halswell River

Heathcote River, Linwood Canal and Banks Peninsula

Ōtūkaikino River

Styx River

Annual monitoring reports

Cashmere Stream

Styx Mill

Fish passage

Other monitoring reports