E.coli still at Bendigo in Central Otago

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NZN

A toilet block at the Bendigo freedom camping site in Central Otago is being reopened after tests revealed the cause of E.coli contamination in Lake Dunstan is ducks not humans.

But officials believe testing which showed E-coli contamination in a water tanker may be a false alarm.

Source: 1 NEWS

Samples taken opposite the campsite, and up and downstream, continue to show high levels of E.coli, so the warnings will continue to remain in place, says Jerome Sheppard, Land Information NZ deputy chief executive of crown property.

Test results show the contamination is not from the toilets or from other human sources.

"We will be looking to reopen the toilet block at Bendigo as soon as is reasonably practical. We will also keep the portable toilets brought in to help manage demand open as well, given that we still have high numbers of visitors," he said.

Media have reported that as many as 43 vehicles had parked one night and about 100kg of rubbish, including toilet paper, was being collected daily.

"We're really pleased with the behaviour overall and thank everyone who has done their part to keep these sites clean and tidy for everyone's enjoyment," Mr Sheppard said.

LINZ was alerted to the contamination issue in late January.

Mr Sheppard said water quality at Bendigo would continue to be monitored, and the public would be advised as soon as the contamination dropped to acceptable levels.

Advice is being sought on what to do to manage the source of the contamination.

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