12pm Monday 15 March

Carterton District Council has extended its boil water notice until further notice, with the next public update expected before 6pm Monday 15 March.

This means all businesses and urban residents connected to the urban water supply must continue to 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 boil water notice will be kept in place until Regional Public Health can confirm that the Council has received enough clear test runs and has eliminated all potential sources of E. coli. The Council has been working with senior external water engineers and Regional Public Health to identify the cause of Friday’s E. coli readings at two of its sites. Today’s remedial work included flushing 44 of its sites, draining the tanks and giving them a thorough clean with a high chlorine dose.

“The Council is doing everything it can to identify and eliminate the source of E. coli so we can lift the boil water notice as soon as possible,” said Infrastructure, Regulatory and Services Manager Dave Gittings.

“However, our residents safety remains our main priority, so we support the decision to keep the boil water notice in place.”

“Even though the risk is low, it’s really important that people do not get complacent and remain vigilant until the boil water notice has been lifted.”

The Council’s water is tested daily, with clear results received every day last week up until Friday. After the test results showed an E. coli reading on Friday, the Council acted immediately by notifying businesses directly, liaising with community groups such as Neighbourhood Support and Age Concern, updating the electronic noticeboard at Carrington Park, putting up posters at New World, and sending the boil water notice out as widely as possible.

The Council contacted contractors to try and source electronic road signs to put at the entrances at either end of town, however, none were available. The Council also investigated the possibility of sending Civil Defence text message alerts, however, it was advised that the threshold to meet the criteria to send these out is quite high and the Council is unlikely to gain approval for this.

The boil water notice will remain in place until further notice with the next update expected by 6pm Monday 15 March.

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