Fence to lift water quality

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A 1km strip along a stream has been fenced in an effort to lift water quality in the Waihi Gorge near Geraldine.
The stretch of fencing has been erected inland of a Department of Conservation campsite where E.coli warnings are issued on a regular basis during the summer months.
The $10,000 project has been funded by the neighbouring landowner to ensure stock will not get in the waterway.
The project was completed this year after the Waihi Catchment Group raised concerns and discussions got under way with local authorities.
Environment Canterbury zone manager Michael Hide said there had been health warnings at the Doc campsite at Waihi Gorge, after testing identified traces of E.coli in the water.
‘‘When the neighbouring landowner was approached about it, they were keen to do something about it. They would like to get the warning signs removed,’’ Mr Hide said.
Upstream land use, specifically sheep and beef farming use, had contributed to the issue, he said.
‘‘From discussions between Ian Lyttle, senior land management advisrr for ECan and the landowner, the landowner agreed to do the fencing,’’ Mr Hide said.
Last week, ECan staff again met Waihi Station farmers to discuss ways to further improve water quality in the area.
Mr Hide said the main objective of the project was to reduce E.coli inflow into the Waihi area and monitoring would be ongoing.