Update: 18 April Martinborough Water – mail drop to households

Please see below for the information being delivered to households in Martinborough to remind residents, visitors and businesses of the need to continue boiling water over the Easter weekend pending SWDC’s continuing efforts to establish the source of contamination and a sustainable solution to the issue.

For information regarding Wednesday’s emergency meeting to consider temporary chlorination of the Martinborough water supply, please click here

18 April 2019


Drinking water must be boiled in Martinborough until further notice

Dear Residents/ Visitors/Business Owners,

South Wairarapa District Council advises all drinking-water from the Martinborough town supply must be boiled before being used for drinking, food preparation, or brushing teeth.

Babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people who have weakened immune systems are more at risk of illness. If you (or anyone in your household) gets diarrhoea, vomiting and/or a fever please seek advice from your doctor or contact Healthline (0800 611 116).

Boiling water before use is the best way to make water safe to drink.

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

Please check with your neighbours that they are aware of the need to boil water.

How to boil water for drinking:

  • 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 (overleaf) or visit our website swdc.testserver.co.nz    

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

Jennie Mitchell

Acting CEO

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

What is protozoa?

Protozoa is a type of bug (micro-organism). Common types of protozoa found in contaminated water are cryptosporidium and giardia. They can cause diarrhoea and other symptoms.

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

Currently the boil water notice will kill any bugs in the drinking water, but this is not suitable for long periods of time.  Another option is the addition of chlorine treatment to the network. Chlorine is a disinfectant that kills bacteria. This is an option currently being looked at so the Boil Water Notice can be lifted.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What about teeth brushing and shaving?

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

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

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

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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