The permanent swimming ban for Lake Tūtira has been lifted.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council water quality scientist Andy Hicks said improvements in land management amongst other factors have contributed to improved water quality to the point where people can swim in the lake.
"While the permanent ban on swimming has lifted, we do advise that people check the health of the lake before they go for a swim.
"There is still the risk of algal blooms or faecal contamination in the future, particularly after rainfall. What has changed is our ability to put out real-time warnings."
The council monitors the quality of the lake regularly, including the bacteria levels and the risk of algal blooms.
Hicks said a monitoring buoy that checks for algae at all depths of the lake in real time is in place.
"A new instrument enables our team to check algae levels at different swimming spots every week during the swim season, and lab results on species composition come to us monthly."
Council also advised the public to put on sunscreen containing phenoxyethanol 20 minutes before swimming to avoid duck itch.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Nicholas Jones reinforced the need to continue to avoid swimming in the lake after heavy rainfall.
For kaitiaki Ngāti Kurumōkihi, represented by the Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust, the improvements are a step in the right direction.
MTT general manager Richard Jefferies said the lake is their waiū – providing spiritual and physical sustenance for their tīpuna (ancestors) for hundreds of years.
"We are proud of the work we have undertaken over the past few years, alongside the regional council and others, to get to a place where we can enjoy the water again."