Deep Stream water cleared to drink following fire

The fire near Middlemarch has spread rapidly in hot, windy conditions, burning through 2400ha of...
The catchment and reservoir usually provided 80% of the city's drinking water, but a fire which burnt through 75% of the catchment had contaminated it with ash and run-off containing fire suppressant chemicals. Photo: Supplied
Dunedin's Deep Stream water supply is expected to be back in service by the middle of next week, after testing confirmed it was now safe to drink following contamination after a major fire last month, the Dunedin City Council says.

The catchment and reservoir usually provided 80% of the city's drinking water, but a fire which burnt through 75% of the catchment had contaminated it with ash and run-off containing fire suppressant chemicals.

It was initially feared the water source could be out of action for up to a year, but DCC 3 Waters group manager Tom Dyer said yesterday testing and a risk assessment had given the catchment the all-clear.

"We started a recommissioning process yesterday, and will have the Deep Stream catchment back in service by the middle of next week," he said.

He thanked the public for their "patience and co-operation" while voluntarily conserving water, and asked for the effort to continue for another week.

"While it’s highly likely we’ll be able to re-start taking water from Deep Stream next week, we’d like to remind people that the voluntary water restriction will remain in place for another week, particularly as the weather is now warming up.”

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