Escherichia coli pollution of Fish Creek in Te Waikoropupū Reserve

Friends of Golden Bay (Inc.) are aware that stream contamination by Escherichia coli and other human pathogens can come from farming. At Te Waikoropupū reserve the Department of Conservation had to remove an untreated drinking supply because of this type of contamination. We therefore have been sampling for E. coli in Fish Creek as it is unacceptable to pollute a national treasure. Our study of E. coli in Fish Creek  illustrates a wider problem  in Golden Bay’s waterways.

Our results from sampling during rain events over two years found:

  • There is very high pollution by E. coli of Fish Creek due to the upstream dairy farms

  • The levels of E coli make the Creek unsuitable for drinking or even recreational contact

  • While E. coli may be lower between rain events the Creek is still polluted – it is higher than water in the Creek is above the farms 

  • During rain events E coli was typically 7000 / 100 ml water but has been as high as 310 000 E. coli / 100 ml.

 This gross pollution is unacceptable particularly as it could be easily mitigated.

Friends of Golden Bay wish to thank those who helped collect the water samples or made donations to have the samples analysed by Cawthron Institute.

A pdf version of an article on E.coli pollution is available here E coli study 22 April 19


Friends of Golden Bay have recently written again to a range of interested parties, including Tasman District Council, on this pollution.

The letter to TDC (April 2019) about E. coli is here.


Fish Creek pollution at the Reserve boundary during a rain event



Polluted channel entering Fish Springs at the boardwalk.
This channel runs through about 70 m of scrub from the farms.