18 March 2021

Carterton District Council is confident it has located the cause of the readings of low-level E. coli bacteria in its pipe system which triggered a boil water notice.

The boil water notice is still in place until further notice, which means Carterton businesses and urban residents connected to the town supply must boil all water before being used for drinking, making baby formula, juice, ice, washing fruit and vegetables, other food preparation/cooking needs, or brushing teeth.

The Council has increased its flushing regime by 50 per cent after implementing a revised flushing plan which involves separating the town supply into sections, calculating the amount of time each length of pipe needed to be flushed and measuring the chlorine levels in each section.

“We have taken a very methodical approach and we plan to continue this regime in the future as part of our regular operations,” said Infrastructure, Services and Regulatory Manager Dave Gittings.

“We are now confident we have narrowed down the potential source.”

The Council received clear samples back today from yesterday’s testing. At this stage, the Council has not received any official reports of illness in relation to this event.

A further update will be provided to the community by 5pm Saturday, however, this is not an indication of when the notice will be lifted. Please continue to boil water before use until the Council has advised otherwise.

Boiling water before use is the best way to make water safe. The risk of getting sick from drinking the water is low but possible, especially for vulnerable people. Babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people who have weakened immune systems are more at risk of illness. If you get diarrhoea, vomiting and/or a fever, get advice from your doctor or contact Healthline (0800 611 116).

How to boil water for drinking:

  • Boiling will kill all disease-causing organisms.
  • Bring water to a rolling boil (where bubbles appear in the centre and do not disappear when the water is stirred) for one minute or boil a full electric jug until it switches off
  • Cool water (do not use ice cubes to do this) and pour into clean container with a lid
  • Refrigerate until needed.

If you experience diarrhoea, vomiting and/or a fever, contact your doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116). For more information and to stay up to date, visit cdc.govt.nz/boilwaternotice