The Canterbury Regional Council is expected to send a boat with a team of divers to take sediment samples from Lake Opuha in the next few weeks, following allegations dangerous pesticides are buried in the lake bed.
The council is working with the Opihi Catchment and Environment Protection Society (OCEPS), which claims there are chemicals in the lake's bed.
The council's surface water science manager, Tim Davie, said once an agreement had been reached on the sampling protocols, testing should take place in the next few weeks - depending on the weather.
A member of the OCEPS group, Allan Campbell, said a meeting with the council last week was a good step forward and they were now both on the same level.
"We had to put old bones aside, you might say, we had to get past the distrust - because we have a potential problem if the problem is there in the bed of that lake...
"The positive outcome was that testing will be done on sediment and that OCEPS members will be present every time those samples are taken.
"We will also receive half the sample for our own testing or analysis if we think we should do so."