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Sewage Threatens Swim Course For Canberra City Half Ironman

High bacteria levels at Lake Burley Griffin in Australia's capital city of Canberra threaten to turn this weekend's Crowne Plaza Canberra City Half Ironman into a duathlon.

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High bacteria levels at Lake Burley Griffin in Australia’s capital city of Canberra threaten to turn this weekend’s Crowne Plaza Canberra City Half Ironman into a duathlon.

The National Capital Authority won’t know until at least tomorrow the amount of toxic bacteria in the lake.

The lake was closed indefinitely last week to all sporting and recreational activities after a burst sewerage works plant in the area caused a sewage flow into the waterway, and it most likely won’t reopen in time for Sunday’s annual event.

Sewerage is still pumping into the Molonglo River and won’t recede until tonight.

Testing on the water began yesterday with a bacteria sample sent to be grown in a laboratory a procedure which takes about 48 hours.

But NCA spokesperson Melanie Skinner said the recent heavy rain across the ACT could complicate the process.

”It’s such a flow of water that’s coming through from the whole catchment area, it’s getting flushed out very quickly but it also means with the testing that we do, we’ve got to be confident that it’s going to be current,” Skinner said.

The race website lists a duathlon as the contingency plan, with a 2.5km run replacing the swim portion of the event.

Click here to read more.

Click here for updates on the race.