Bacteria levels are starting to drop on waterways infected by sewage from pipes damaged in the Canterbury earthquake.
Some rivers and estuaries have been off-limits for water sports because of the risk of contracting hepatitis through sewage that has seeped into the rivers.
The ban has forced rowers and kayakers off the Avon River and onto rowing machines inside their clubhouses.
Canterbury's Medical Officer of Health, Alistair Humphrey, says he hopes to declare the waterways open to recreational users very soon, hopefully before the summer holidays.
Doctor Humphrey says e-coli samples are being taken and analysed every week.