Bendigo E.Coli update
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is continuing to advise visitors to the Bendigo freedom camping site at Lake Dunstan
not to swim, fish, or take water from the immediate lake area, as it continues to be subject to unacceptably high levels
of E.Coli. However, tests at Dairy Creek and Bannockburn have come back as acceptable.
Latest laboratory testing results received yesterday afternoon by LINZ from samples taken late last week and again on
Monday at Bendigo confirmed the high levels of the bacteria, and immediate steps were taken to begin informing the
public and the relevant authorities.
"We are currently investigating the cause of the contamination and are carrying out further sampling and testing
immediately to determine its cause," says DCE Crown Property, Jerome Sheppard. "We expect that this will help us to
narrow down its source.
"In the meantime, we advise people to avoid taking water from the immediate lake area or fishing or swimming near
Bendigo until it is clear."
Mr Sheppard said it was too early to determine the cause of the contamination, but said LINZ would be immediately
closing the site's toilet block in the interim as a precaution and would undertake cleaning and clearing of its tanks.
Four additional portable toilets were expected to be in place later today, adding to the current four portable toilets
onsite to help manage the demand. These would continue to be cleaned and emptied as required.
"Despite these issues, we are pleased with the overall behaviour of people visiting and using our facilities so far this
summer, and are continuing to routinely visit and inspect all of our popular sites to make sure they are well maintained
for everyone's enjoyment.
"As with all of our freedom sites, we are reliant on people using them to act responsibly to help keep these areas clean
and tidy for everyone."
LINZ has already undertaken significant upgrade work at Bendigo, which also includes plans to install new toilets and
bins later this year.