A herd of cows photographed cooling off in the river that supplies drinking water to Horowhenua were due to be moved away from the waterway today.

Horizons Regional Council confirmed that they had been in contact with the owner of the stock and were expecting the cows to have been moved from the area between 10am and 1pm on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Cows in water supply shock town

The council's group manager for strategy and policy Dr Nic Peet said they would also be working with the landowner on more permanent fencing arrangements.

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The cows had free access to the river area about 200m upstream of the Gladstone Reserve on the Ohau River, a favourite local swimming spot, and part of Levin's drinking water supply.

It was recently one of two sites which tested higher than acceptable for E.coli bacteria levels by Horizons Regional Council.

Dr Peet said Horizons had regulations and non-regulatory initiatives for excluding stock from waterways, including regulations for intensive farming in priority catchments in Manawatu and Rangitikei, and riparian planting and fencing grants to all farmers in the region.