UPDATE 1: All drinking water must be boiled in Martinborough until further notice

11.28am, 10 April 2019

South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) advises that all drinking water in Martinborough must be boiled before being used for drinking, making up formula, juices, ice, washing fruits and vegetables, and other cooking needs, or brushing teeth.

E. coli has been detected in two routine water samples taken within the town water supply, at the reservoir and at Shooting Butts Rd. All other samples taken around the system have come back clear of E. coli. While these results were very low, in light of the contamination event in February, and in consultation with Regional Public Health, a Boil Water notice was issued at approximately 6pm yesterday.

Second water samples taken last night have been driven to Upper Hutt for testing, and the results of these will be known tomorrow morning.

The water supply network surrounding the sites where the positive samples were taken was chlorinated last night. Further actions will be agreed at a meeting this morning with Lutra, Wellington Water and Regional Public Health.

Acting Chief Executive Jennie Mitchell says, “we’re incredibly disappointed to have these positive results so soon after the recent event. We recognise the inconvenience but of course public health and safety must come first.”

The Council has used multiple communication channels to alert Martinborough Town water users to this event. This included letter dropping and load speaker announcements, print and radio media, ratepayer email list, the Martinborough Business Association, Lions and sports clubs. Electronic message signs have been placed on the main entry into town and in Greytown, and corflute signs are being organised for further public areas.

 The community pulled together last night to get the message out as far and wide as possible.

Ms Mitchell says, “a huge thank you to everyone who helped last night, especially the Fire Brigade and council staff”.

The rest home, school, kindergartens, daycares and medical centre have all be contacted directly. If people have elderly or vulnerable neighbours, please check on them to ensure they are aware of the boil water notice.

Water bladders are being installed today to provide alternative, safe water sources at the Square, Rugby Club, Waihinga Centre, Martinborough School and Martinborough Golf Club.

Regional Public Health and Wairarapa DHB are reporting no increase in confirmed illness in association with this event.

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).

The boil water notice is in effect until further notice.

Next update: 11am 11 April Thursday, or earlier if required.

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.

Further information, contact SWDC on 06 30 69611 at or go to swdc.govt.nz/Martinborough-town-water-situation, for future updates, background information on this event and FAQs.

Media contact (for today)

Jennie Mitchell

021 675 484
 

South Wairarapa District Council