UPDATE 2: All drinking water must be boiled in Martinborough until further notice

 1.55pm, 2 February 2019

South Wairarapa District Council continues to advise that all drinking water in Martinborough must be boiled before being used for drinking, making up formula, juices and ice, washing fruits and vegetables, other cooking needs, or brushing teeth.

Protecting the health of Martinborough residents and visitors is our first priority. We’re continuing to work with public health and doing everything we can to alert people to the Boil Water Notice, for example on sharing it on our website, Facebook, the resident letter drop yesterday, visual public displays on SH53, working with media and via the Emergency Management Alert.

We understand the concerns of residents and business owners and are doing everything we can to give them the information they need.

Water stations are in place around the Square for the public and there is also 20,000 litre tanker in place on the corner of Cork Street and Strasbourge Street, until 6pm this evening, and are arranging for it to return tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who has helped the community during this event; your support has been amazing.

This is what we know so far:

  • Late afternoon on 30 Jan, routine testing carried out at various sites around the water system showed a positive result for low levels of E. coli at Martinborough School, all other samples were clear.
  • Within half an hour, Regional Public Health was contacted to discuss the course of action.
  • In consultation with Regional Public Health, the school was advised to use an alternative water source as a precaution.
  • Further samples were taken from around the system and sent for testing, and follow-up results received on 10am 31 Jan showed all the results were clear. This was communicated to the school and in a Facebook response.
  • Continued testing showed a second low, positive result at a different site that required further testing.
  • In conjunction with Regional Public Health, we issued a Boiled Water Notice (3pm 1 Feb) while we await confirmation of the result over the weekend.
  • The test results are expected on Mon 4 Feb.
  • This boil water advisory is in effect until further notice, while we await the results of further tests.

The risk of getting sick from drinking the water is low but possible, especially for vulnerable people. Babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people who have weakened immune systems are more at risk of illness. If you get diarrhoea, vomiting and/or a fever, get advice from your doctor or contact Healthline (0800 611 116).

Next update: 10 am Monday 4 February, or earlier if required.

How to boil water for drinking:

Boiling will kill all disease-causing organisms.

  • 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.

For more information, contact SWDC on 06 30 69611 at or go to swdc.testserver.co.nz, where you will find more FAQs.


Media contact:

Amy Wharram, Communications Manager 027 252 2863

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