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Medical Officer of Health Clears Raetihi Water for All Purposes

RAETIHI DIESEL SPILL - #19
Medical Officer of Health Clears Raetihi Water for All Purposes

The Mid-Central Health Medical office of Health has cleared the Raetihi reticulated water supply for human consumption.

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) Chief Executive and Civil Defence Controller, Peter Till, said that it was a huge relief to finally get the tick from the health authorities that Raetihi water is now officially safe to drink.

“Getting to this point has been an amazing effort from a whole lot of people from around New Zealand and as far away as Australia,” he said.

“Since the water supply was cut off on the 2nd of October Council in partnership with the Raetihi community and a myriad of other response agencies, Iwi, volunteers, businesses and others have worked tirelessly to keep life in Raetihi going.”

“The response effort has been a mammoth undertaking and the people of Raetihi have been fantastic.”

Mr Till said that a community meeting was scheduled for 5.30pm tonight where Council will put forward a proposal to start removing the emergency drinking water supply services that were put in place following the diesel contamination.

“As the reticulated water has been cleared for toilet flushing, showers and laundry since last week we have already commenced the removal of the temporary emergency services that were set up for these,” he said.

“Removing the emergency drinking water supply services will however be a little more complicated and will take a little more time.”

“There are 78 registered tank sites around Raetihi which have been regularly serviced by a water tanker fleet.”

“It will take some days for Council to get around all these sites and confirm the arrangements for the removal of these tanks.”

Mr Till noted that some businesses and homes have had dedicated water tanks with pressure pumps installed which by-pass the reticulated water system.

“These arrangements will need to be reversed to get people back on the reticulated water supply.”

“In the interim we will need to continue to service these tanks,” he said.

“Some people who have had a Council installed dedicated water tank and pressure pump installed may wish to retain these and we are happy to talk with them about purchasing the equipment from us.”

Mr Till added that in the longer term we hope to return to Raetihi’s original water source from the Makotuku Stream by Christmas.

“This will be dependent on whether tests show that the stream is free from hydrocarbons and we can safely make potable water from it.”


ENDS

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