Water fears put to rest

Water fears put to rest

Otorohanga District Council (ODC) is pour­ing cold water on rumours that the town’s drinking water is contaminated.

Chief executive and engineering manager Dave Clibbery says the council recently became aware of the issue following enquiries to staff and com­ments circulating online questioning the safety of the community water supply.

He says some people have linked the occasional stronger taste of the town water (typically associ­ated with very low river levels), increased odour from the wastewater treatment plant and the deaths of some water birds through suspected Avian Botulism (both probably linked to the recent hot weather) to suggest that there may be contamination of the town’s water supply. “The answer is that there is no contamination of the town’s drinking water and its use is completely safe,” says Mr Clibbery.

“The possible death of water birds due to Avian Botulism is a common natural event and this type of botulism is different to that which sometimes affects humans, and does not pose a risk through consumption of water.

“It is unfortunate that baseless suggestions of water contamination have caused needless alarm.”

He says the exceptionally hot, dry and calm weather experienced during January has however, resulted in increased odour being generated by the wastewater treatment plant, which, under certain wind conditions can be unpleasant for some residents.

“This is very unusual for the Otorohanga plant, which generally operates with little if any smell being detectable even within quite close proximity.

“It is expected that the level of odour will de­crease if the weather resumes a more normal pat­tern in the future.”