Kawerau District Council is already completing upgrades to the water infrastructure and has committed major funds in the coming years.

Kawerau District Council Chief Executive Russell George said the water boiling restriction notice put into place on Saturday, 4 January 2020 had prompted questions about whether the Kawerau Council had invested enough in the infrastructure.

In December 2019, a $130,000 project to complete remedial work on all three reservoirs in the district began. The project includes remedial work on Kawerau’s two older reservoirs. Work crews are on site and expect to complete the project this week.

This is the first of several projects identified by the Council as priorities.

The next project will be a $1.2 million upgrade of the feeding lines into the water reservoirs which will be carried out as part of the 2019/20 Annual Plan.

A wider scope of this project will see the Kawerau District Council invest a further $15 million into replacing the old water reticulation system over the next five years.

Mr George said the Council had already committed to the replacement programme of the pipes.

“Kawerau is a small district and we are mindful that we need to take a prudent and careful approach for this scope of work which will require between $2 million and $3 million to be invested every year for the next five years,” Mr George said.

“We are developing this work plan which will include the replacement of the oldest reservoir.”

“As a town developed in the 1950s, we know that there are some areas of infrastructure that are ageing, however, inspections of the reticulation system showed overall it is still in good repair.”

The boiling water restriction is currently still in place after a positive test for E. Coli bacteria was returned from a routine water sample on Thursday, 2 January, 2020 which was returned on Saturday, 4 January 2020.

Following that result, there have been two clear tests with zero levels of E.Coli from the same water sampling point. A further water sample will be analysed overnight.

“The boil water notice can only be lifted by the Medical Officer of Health and the Ministry of Health who the Council would be in further discussions with after the result of the third test is known on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.”

“We advise residents to continue to bring drinking water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. This water can then be cooled and used for drinking, teeth cleaning and for washing vegetables, fruit and salad that may be eaten raw.”

Mr George said he was thankful for the many residents who had taken the time to check on friends, whanau and neighbours – as of course not necessarily everyone has access to social media or even the radio.

The Kawerau District Council has advised residents that there is a water tanker with potable drinking water that will be at the New World carpark in Ranfurly Court until 8.00pm this evening. The tanker will be back at the carpark tomorrow morning on Tuesday, 7 January 2020.

The Boil Water Notice has now been lifted for all residents connected to the Kawerau District Council supply.