Boil water notice still in force for Naseby

Clean water is likely to flow from taps in Ranfurly tomorrow, after almost a month of a boil-water regime.

For Naseby the wait will continue into next week.

The Central Otago District Council has had the notices in place since the New Year deluge that affected supplies to both towns.

Naseby business owners spoken to by the Otago Daily Times yesterday said the situation had not been easy and they did not blame the council, but said there was room for improvement in communication.

Royal Hotel publican Adrian Hood described the situation as "not ideal".

"I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t impacted on us.

"We’ve got to get containers [to fill with with drinkable water] and head down the road like everyone else."

His business had not been able to make coffee but a coffee cart with its own water storage tank had set up in the town for coffee fixes, he said.

He did not attribute blame.

"At the end of the of day, you can point blame but it’s not going to help. I mean, 250mm of rain in four days is an act of God."

He believed the rain was more of a factor in a mass exodus from the town in the first week of January more than a lack of drinking water but it had come as blow to business.

"We were hoping for a big summer."

Naseby Holiday Park owner Beth Connell said she joined about 25 other residents for a coffee meeting with Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan yesterday where the issue of water dominated.

"There was quite a lot of discussion about not having water for such a long time after it went off on January 2 and 3."

However, it was useful to get feedback on government drinking water standards that had compounded delays, she said.

Some questions remained.

"There’s still some questions about how much water was stored, for it to run out so quickly."

It also highlighted communication issues in a big weather and how to convey messages such as boil water notices to the whole community who were "not sitting behind computers" or did not have smartphones, Mrs Connell said.

Maniototo Community Board chairman Robert Hazlett also said the council could communicate better but otherwise it was working within constraints.

"There is ongoing work to clear the pipeline and you have to work by the rules the government sets.

"It [the water] has to pass turbidity tests before you can drink it."

Council water services manager Peter Greenwood said the council anticipated the boil water notice would be lifted in Ranfurly tomorrow, assuming no surprises with the water sample results.

"For Naseby we expect the boil water event to continue until next week, unfortunately."

Work conducted so far was initially to repair damaged infrastructure then, once the treated water turbidity was sufficiently low enough, water sampling in the reticulation started.

After three consecutive days of clear test results the boil water notice could be lifted, Mr Greenwood said.

jared.morgan@odt.co.nz

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