Some of Otago's smaller communities are among those which
have had bacterial contamination of their drinking water
supplies, a Ministry of Health report shows.
The 2012-13 report shows microbiological and chemical quality
of water in populations of more than 100 people.
Compliance with all drinking-water standards increased by
0.2% to 77% in population terms during 2012 to 2013,
bacterial compliance was 96.7% and chemical compliance was
95.3%, even in small drinking-water supplies which generally
experienced greater difficulty in achieving compliance, the
Green Party water spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said most water
supply schemes (46%) which had issues with faecal
contamination water were in Canterbury, while 11% were in the
Bay of Plenty and another 11% in Otago.
''New Zealanders have a right to clean, safe drinking water.
People shouldn't have to drink water contaminated with
faeces,'' she said.
The presence of E.coli in water indicated it had been
contaminated with faeces.
Services affected in Otago were Arrowtown, Cardrona township
and Wanaka airport, Kaka Point, Richardson Rural North and
Tuapeka West and East.
A Queenstown Lakes District Council spokeswoman said the
Arrowtown water supply was not treated, but was tested
regularly, and if E.coli was detected, the council applied
''An ultra-violet treatment unit will be installed this year,
which will disinfect the water.''
The water at Wanaka airport was supplied from a bore and the
2012 problem was due to contamination in a privately owned
water tank, for which the owner was responsible.
The Cardrona supply was community run. In 2012, 66 people
fell ill with norovirus linked to the township's water
Investigations were under way to improve its drinking water
Clutha District Council assets manager Jules Witt said the
incidents were in small, rural-fed supplies.