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Napier takes precautionary approach to positive water test

Napier City Council has this afternoon chlorinated the water in one of its reservoirs after routine testing returned a positive test for e-coli. The reservoir is the Enfield Rd reservoir and it services much of Napier including Taradale and Bay View during peak season.

All other reservoirs tested on the same day returned clear results.

National water standards are that, in any situation where a positive reading is returned, water is re-tested within 24 hours to check for a second positive before acting. However, given the learnings from previous water situations in New Zealand, Council has acted conservatively, and immediately.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton is reassuring residents that there is no need to boil water – and that the chlorine is doing its job. “We are taking the precaution of chlorinating ahead of the second test results being available to us, just to be on the safe side. We are advising residents not to panic – and that we will be in touch again as soon as we possibly can.”

As an extra precaution, Council is also re-testing every other reservoir in the Napier City network.

Schools and businesses, tourism operators and so on are being directly contacted by the Council team to advise of the chlorination.

The results of the second test for e-coli will be with Council tomorrow (Friday 3rd February) and we will update Napier then.

If anyone is feeling sick with diarrhoea and/or vomiting that lives in this area they should see or call their health professional or call Healthline 0800 611 116.

Chlorination FAQs (courtesy of the HB District Health Board)

Why is it necessary to chlorinate the water?

Chlorine is a highly efficient disinfectant and helps kill harmful bacteria that may exist in the water or in the water supply pipes. It has been added as a precautionary measure to safe guard the water from potentially harmful bacteria and to ensure the water supply complies with the required drinking water standards.

Will chlorine affect my health?

Current studies indicate that using or drinking water with small amounts of chlorine does not cause harmful health effects. Its widespread use has been a major factor in reducing illness from waterborne diseases.

Even with the small volumes of chlorine used to some people will be able to taste it and some will notice the smell.

Please click on the link below regarding NZ drinking water standards -

Can chlorine affect existing conditions?

Yes, in a small number of people chlorine can be an irritant for an existing condition such as asthma or eczema. If you notice increased skin irritation, asthma symptoms or other symptoms – seek medical advice.  You can contact Healthline 0800 611 116 or your family doctor (GP).

3 February 2017

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