High levels of E. coli at Clifton Falls

Otago Regional Council (ORC) water quality samples taken from the Kakanui River at Clifton Falls have shown high levels of the bacteria E.Coli. 

The Kakanui River at Clifton Falls is one of the 25 sites monitored on a weekly basis for bacteria levels. Samples taken from this site have returned high bacteria levels.

Government water quality guidelines for recreational swimming areas are that those with less than 260 E.coli/100ml should be safe, whereas water with more than 550 E.coli/100ml poses a health risk. ORC’s most recent sampling in the area showed E.coli levels at 687/100ml.

ORC Environmental Resource Scientist Rachel Ozanne said the high E.coli sample readings are most likely due to the endangered Black-billed Gull colonies roosting upstream in the gorge. The source of the bacteria will be confirmed by Cawthron who are undertaking tests on the water. These results are expected to be available on Friday.

Signage advising against swimming in the area has been installed today. People considering swimming in the river should hold off in the meantime, pending further testing.

To find out more about the water quality at your local swimming site, contact  ORC or visit: www.lawa.org.nz/swim

For more information contact:

Rachel Ozanne
Enivronmental Resource Scientist
Ph 0800 474 082

Communications contact

Sian Sutton
Director Stakeholder Engagement

Ph 0800 474082 or 027 575 1799
Email: sian.sutton@orc.govt.nz