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High levels of E. coli at Otokia Creek in Brighton

High levels of E. coli at Otokia Creek in Brighton

Otago Regional Council (ORC) water quality samples taken from the Otokia Creek, which runs into Brighton Beach, have shown high levels of the bacteria E. coli.

ORC’s latest sampling showed E. coli levels at 667/100 ml. Government water quality guidelines for recreational swimming areas state that less than 260 E. coli/100ml should be safe, whereas water with more than 550 E. coli/100ml poses a health risk.

ORC Manager of Resource Science Dr Dean Olsen said the high E. coli sample reading could be due to the recent rainfall and high tides, which could have washed higher levels of bacteria from bird droppings into the creek. ORC is carrying out further testing of the water quality, with the results expected to be available on Monday.

People considering swimming in the creek should hold off in the meantime, pending further testing. Signage advising against swimming in the creek was installed on Thursday. Dr Olsen said that Brighton Beach itself is considered safe for swimming, but advises people to avoid the area where the creek connects with the beach.

Otokia Creek is one of the 25 sites monitored by ORC on a weekly basis for bacteria levels.
To find out more about the water quality at your local swimming site, contact ORC or visit: www.lawa.org.nz/swim

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