MEDIA RELEASE 25 February 2021
Ōtorohanga District Council have received a recommendation from the Waikato District Health Board’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Richard Vipond, that the Arohena Rural Water Supply Scheme should be placed on a permanent boil water notice as a precautionary measure, until the planned upgrade of the water scheme takes place.
A boil water notice is a directive to boil all water before consuming it. Residents and users need to boil their water for at least one minute for:
- Drinking water
- Food preparation
- Utensil washing
- Washing teeth
- Feeding pets.
Arohena Rural Water Supply is made up of three rural water treatment plants, Huirimu, Kahorekau and Taupaki. Huirimu and Kahorekau plants currently have a temporary boil water notice in place after routine testing required by the DHB demonstrated there were minute levels of E.coli in the water. Once E.coli is found in any drinking water, there is a mandatory three-day testing regime required. The Arohena Rural Water Scheme had three consecutive negative test results, which were then provided to the DHB in order for the Medical Officer of Health to make on decision on whether the boil water notice could be lifted.
The Health Protection Officer made the following recommendation in a notice sent to Ōtorohanga District Council on 24 February “given the likelihood of further high turbidity events with rainfall which could occur, WADWAS (Waikato Drinking Water Assessment Service) currently would advocate for an ongoing boil water notice across the entire Arohena supply until such time the supply can demonstrate safe drinking water and mechanisms in place to prevent turbidity spikes and potential contamination. This recommendation follows discussion between WADWAS and the designated officer Medical Officer of Health Dr Richard Vipond.”
The upgrade for the Arohena Rural Water Supply Scheme treatments plants is currently in the planning phase. The upgrade of the Kahorekau water treatment plant will take place during the next 12 months, and there are plans to design the required upgrades for Taupaki and Huirimu plants during this same time period.
Ōtorohanga District Council staff are contacting all affected residents today, and operationally will continue to run all the of rural water schemes to the best of each plants capability. “We are dedicated to providing good quality, clean and safe drinking water to our public. Our staff have acted quickly and effectively, and I am confident we are doing everything we can to ensure our public are safe” states Mayor Max Baxter.
Further enquiries: Roger Brady – Group Manager Engineering phone 027 839 4506
General media enquiries: Helen Williams – Strategic Planner phone 021 966 552
Boil Water Notice [PDF 460 KB]
24 February 2021
Council has not receive permission to lift the Boil water notice yet, and it continues to remain in place. Please continue to Boil your water until further notice.
23 February 2021
The Boil water notice continues to remain in place. Please continue to boil your water until further notice.
22 February 2021
The Boil water notice continues to remain in place. Council have completed the testing and will confirm with the Waikato District Health Board tomorrow to have the notice lifted. Please continue to boil your water until further notice.
19 February 2021
The Boil Water Notice is still in place and will remain in place over the weekend when Council will assess the weekend test results. Please continue to boil your water until further notice.
Our next update will be Monday 22 February.
18 February 2021
Water testing has started this morning and will continue for the next 3 days. Please continue to boil your water until further notice. Refer to the 17 February update for further information.
17 February 2021
Residents whose properties are connected to the Kahorekau (Taffys) and Huirimu Rural Water Scheme are being asked to boil their water until further notice.
The boil water notice will remain in place until further notice.
Residents and users on Kahorekau and Huirimu Rural Water Schemes need to boil their water for at least one minute for:
Council staff will provide regular updates when available, but should you have any questions please contact Mark Lewis (Services Manager) at Otorohanga District Council 07 873 4000