30 April 2019

Important information for residents, visitors and business owners in Martinborough

In preparation for the temporary introduction of chlorine to Martinborough’s town water supply on 13 May 2019, Council will be scouring and flushing the network pipes around the town to remove any existing deposits before adding chlorine. This will help to minimise the discolouration of the water that may be experienced after chlorine is added.

The scouring and flushing for each zone will take 4-6 hours and during this time your water will be turned off. The flushing will be carried out over a six-day period, with one zone being completed each day (see table and map below).

Table: Planned schedule for water network scouring and flushing. Click for map 

DateZone (see map)Affected streets include
6 MayGreenNew York St up to #88
7 MayPurpleNorth rural – Nelson St, #39-74 Princess St, Ponatahi Rd, Huangarua Rd, Puruatanga Rd, Omarere Rd, 57 and above Cambridge Rd, #131-210 Regent St
8 MayOrangeNorth end of town from Jellicoe St and Cambridge Rd, including Kitchener St, up to #46 Dublin, 5-9 Roberts St
9 MayBlueWest end of town rural – Grey St, Weld St, Ferry Rd, Pinot Grove area, 76 and above Jellicoe St and Hawkins Dr
10 MayYellowSouth end of town including Jellicoe St, Cambridge Rd and all of Cologne St, and from #53 Dublin St
11 MayPinkSouth end rural including, rest of New York St, Oxford St, Martinborough Estate and golf course area

Closer to the time, we will confirm the day that your water supply will be temporarily turned off. Please note the following:

  • If you have a medical dependence on water, please get in contact with Jackie Buckley on 06 306 9611 x 831 as soon as possible.
  • If you need water during this period, you should fill up suitable containers from your taps before the water is turned off (remember you still need to boil this water before drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth)
  • Try not to use the hot taps while the water is off. The hot water cylinder may be damaged if the water level gets too low.
  • Do not use washing machines, automatic dishwashers, or other appliances that use water during the shut-off period as they may be damaged if used without water. Please check water is back on before using any machine.

When the supply is turned back on, the water from your tap may be discoloured. Please run your tap until the water runs clear before using it, this should take a few minutes. 

If you have any questions about this temporary interruption of water supply, please contact:

  • Jackie Buckley on 06 306 9611 x 831
  • South Wairarapa District Council on 06 306 9611.


Please continue to boil all town supply water until we let you know the boil water advisory is lifted.

How to boil water for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth:

  • Bring water to a rolling boil (where bubbles appear in the centre and do not disappear when the water is stirred) for one minute or boil a full electric jug until it switches off
  • Cool water (do not use ice cubes to do this) and pour into clean container with a lid
  • Refrigerate until needed
  • Alternatively you can boil a full electric jug until the automatic switch goes off.

For more information refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below and here.

If you have any queries, please contact SWDC on 06 3069611.

Jennie Mitchell
Acting CEO

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How was the water contaminated?

We’re not sure, as the presence of contamination is intermittent. Investigations into the source of the contamination are continuing to focus on the reservoir, as well as on private connections within the mains supply and backflow prevention mechanisms for these connections.

Backflow prevention mechanisms are important as water can flow back from water tanks or other water supplies into the mains water network, and it can lead to contamination.

2. What is the water contaminated with?

The E.coli test is an indicator of faecal bacteria (bugs that live in the gut of animals or humans) contaminating the water.  Some of these bugs are known to cause illness in humans, e.g. campylobacter, salmonella, giardia or cryptosporidium, and could be present in the contaminated water.

3. What are you doing to make the water safe to drink?

Currently, we are instructing people to boil drinking water to kill any bugs that might be in it, but this is not suitable for long periods of time. The town water supply is going to be temporarily chlorinated to make it safe to drink, so the Boil Water Notice can be lifted.

4. I have a water filtration unit installed. Does this make the water safe?

No. Filtered water should also be boiled for a minute before using it for drinking, food preparation or brushing your teeth.

5. Can I use my coffee machine, soda machine or ice maker?

Machines that are connected to the water supply should not be used. Use boiled water or bottled water for making coffee, ice or soda drinks.

6. Can I use the shower and bath?

Yes you can, as long as you don’t swallow the water. Toddlers and infants should be sponge bathed to reduce the chance of them swallowing the water.

7. Can I still use the water for washing the dishes and doing the laundry?

Dishes can be washed using boiled water. If your dishwasher has a hot setting, it can be used to wash dishes.

8. Is it safe to wash my hands in the tap water?

Yes it is, as long as you follow a proper hand washing technique. This includes rubbing all parts of your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, and thoroughly drying your hands.

9. What about brushing teeth and shaving?

Only use boiled or bottled water to brush your teeth. You can shave as usual using tap water.

10. How long will the boil water notice be in place for?

The boil water notice will remain in place until further notice.

11. What should I do about feeding my baby?

If breastfeeding, continue as usual. If you are using baby formula, prepare using bottled or cooled, boiled water. Wash and sterilise bottles and teats by boiling or microwaving.

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