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.

Water quality

The Christchurch City Council currently monitors water quality at over fifty waterway and coastal sites within Christchurch City and Banks Peninsula 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 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. 


Citywide surface water quality summary brochure

Citywide surface water quality reports

Targeted wet weather and dry weather monitoring

Te Roto o Wairewa – Lake Forsyth

Other monitoring reports

Mana whenua values, ecology and sediment quality

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

Ecologist monitoring the Avon with electric fishing gear (Probe and net)Monitoring is undertaken in a different catchment within Christchurch City and Banks Peninsula every 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. 

Waterway report cards

Five-yearly monitoring reports

Ōtākaro-Avon River

Ōpāwaho-Heathcote River, Linwood Canal and Banks Peninsula

Huritini-Halswell River

Pūharakekenui-Styx River

Ōtūkaikino River

Annual monitoring reports

Cashmere Stream

Styx Mill

Mana whenua values reports

Fish passage reports

Other monitoring reports

Comprehensive stormwater network discharge consent reports

Council holds resource consent CRC214226 known as the Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent (CSNDC) authorising the majority of the Stormwater Discharges Council is responsible for and these are annual reports required by Condition 61.