Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Lower Waitaki plains aquifer - E-Coli test inconclusive

Lower Waitaki plains aquifer - E-Coli test inconclusive

Routine water sampling in the Lower Waitaki Plains region led ORC scientists to determine raised levels of E-coli in the aquifer bores exceeding the guideline for drinking water. Bacterial counts (E-coli) indicated that the groundwater was unfit for human consumption at the time of sampling, without treatment (disinfection).

Any water that contains E-coli above drinking water standards (1cfu/100ml) is considered unsuitable to drink and can cause serious long-term effects, especially on children, older persons and anyone with compromised health issues. Symptoms can include severe abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea.

Testing to determine the source of this particular contamination spike in the aquifer has just been completed with an inconclusive result. This was due to the low concentration of E-coli in the sample at the time of testing.

ORC Chief Executive Sarah Gardner said, “Whilst it is well known in the Lower Waitaki community that E-coli can be present in the aquifer, I wanted to bring the E-coli levels in the aquifer to the media’s attention in the interest of human health.”

ORC scientists have committed to testing for a source of contamination concurrently with any further spikes, while the E-coli concentration is high enough to allow them to determine this.

“Determining the source requires a different type of test to the routine water sampling we undertake. Having high concentrations of E-coli present during a spike may allow our scientists to determine what’s causing the issue at that exact point in time. We can then advise the community of the appropriate next steps.” Mrs Gardner said.

“People in the Lower Waitaki region need to remain vigilant and it is still our recommendation that residents do not drink the water. The serious health issue that occurred in Havelock North is a stark reminder of the dangers to human health associated with E-coli,” said Mrs Gardner. “Lower Waitaki Plains residents who source their drinking water from private bores should still assume their source water is contaminated unless they have effective disinfection in place. The drinking water standard is less than 1cfu/100ml (colony forming unit). Even E-coli levels of 2cfu/100ml in drinking water is a risk to human health.”

The Southern Drinking Water Reference Group, made up of representatives from the ORC and other district and city councils across the region will remain focused on way to improve drinking water standards for Otago and Southland.

Letters are being dispatched this week to residents of properties with bores in the area to advise of the outcome of the source test conducted.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

NZEI: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote To Reject Offers

Primary teachers and principals have resoundingly rejected the Government’s latest collective agreement offers...

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said members had sent a clear message that the offers did not address concerns about the growing teacher shortage, time to teach and support for children with additional learning needs. More>>


No Confidence In GWRC: Bus Drivers Vote For Strike Next Month

The Wellington Tramways Union today voted overwhelmingly for bus drivers to strike because of the breakdown in negotiations with the Wellington bus operators. More>>


Unanimous: MP Pay Freeze Bill Passes

“The Remuneration Authority (Members of Parliament Remuneration) Amendment legislation, to freeze the pay of MPs for one year, has been passed unanimously by the House today." More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Party Of No Ideas

The striking thing about the issues that have had political coverage over the past few months is the almost total lack of policy content to any of them. To date, Her Majesty’s Opposition have been entirely focussed on failings in Beehive management.. More>>


America's Cup: Environment Court Grants Consents

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “I welcome today’s decision by the Environment Court to grant consent for the bases and associated infrastructure to host the 36th America’s Cup." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice. Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted... More>>


Medical: New Surgical Mesh Safeguards

The Government has introduced strict new safeguards on the use of surgical mesh that are expected to limit its use in urogynaecological surgery. More>>


Handley Handling: Fired Chief Technology Officer Releases Communications

In the interests of drawing a line on this issue, today I am releasing a detailed timeline of events and all of the emails and texts between myself and Clare Curran, and myself and the Prime Minister about the role and my move back to New Zealand. More>>





InfoPages News Channels