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Maintenance problem likely cause of water taint

Maintenance problem likely to be cause of water taint

The smell and taste of kerosene or diesel in the water reported by residents in the Upper Riccarton area in the weekend looks likely to have come from a maintenance glitch, and is unlikely to pose any health threat. The taint seems to have been flushed out already, and the Council is now looking into what caused it.

“We don’t know yet for sure how the taste got into the water, but we are investigating the source,” said City Water and Waste manager Mike Stockwell. “It could be clean-down fluid used during maintenance at one of our pumping stations or diesel from a leaking fuel tank, and test results of the water samples we have taken will confirm this later in the week.”

On Friday evening and over the weekend, some residents in the area between Blenheim and Creyke roads and from Middleton Road to Waimairi/Hansons Lane noticed a taint in their water. Affected residents were advised to flush out their cold water systems by turning on their outside taps and, if they noticed tainting in their hot water supply, to flush out their cylinders by turning on their hot tap until the water ran cold. At the same time, City Care was flushing the street mains.

Mr Stockwell said that since concentrations of kerosene or diesel appear to be extremely low, there is unlikely to be any danger to health, but the Council is seeking information from Community Public Health to verify this.

It could be that some plugs of tainted water are still in the pipework system. Meanwhile, if people notice an unusual or unpleasant taste in the water they should phone the Council on 941 8302.

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