Havelock North water gets all-clear

5:20 pm on 3 September 2016

Water from the Havelock North town water supply has got the all-clear and no longer needs to be boiled before drinking.

A glass is filled with drinking water from a tap

Havelock North residents are being asked to make sure pipes are flushed through before drinking the tap water. Photo: 123RF

The Hastings District Council says the third clear water test in a row came back today, allowing the boil water notice to be lifted.

The results confirm that water from the Hastings source is fully through the Havelock North system after the Brookfield bores were closed off early last week.

But residents, building owners, business owners and their staff are being asked to take steps to ensure pipes are flushed through before drinking the water.

Those steps are:

  • Run internal taps for two to three minutes and until the water is clear
  • If there are water fountains on site (eg schools and child care centres) run them for two to three minutes and until the water is clear
  • Run outdoor taps run them for two to three minutes and until the water is clear if children or pets are likely to drink from them
  • Owners of large buildings (eg rest homes and office blocks) should take care to run the taps at the ends of their systems to draw the water right through the building's pipes

Other steps that the council is advising residents to take:

  • Empty stored water and ice trays and refill with fresh water
  • Run plumbed in ice makers on fridges for two to three minutes and until the water is clear
  • Empty storage water tanks that are linked to the town supply and refill

A council statement said once those steps had been taken, residents could be confident that the water was safe to drink.

People who need advice or help with emptying water storage tanks can call council on 06 871 5000.

Council chief executive Ross McLeod said they were pleased and relieved to be able to lift the boil water notice.

However he said the council would continue to chlorinate the water for at least three months and would continue to carry out daily tests on the water for the foreseeable future.

The idea of permanent chlorination for the town's water supply is a possibility, but Mr McLeod said that was out of his hands.

"We've introduced chlorination on a temporary basis in response to the situation. I think any decision on the long-term use of chlorination is one for our community."

The organiser of a hikoi earlier today from Havelock North to Hastings, Bayden Barber, said it was appropriate that the boil water notice was lifted just hours after the community showed its solidarity.

But Mr Barber said questions must be raised as to how an area known for its natural water could suffer such an outbreak.

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