UPDATE 3: All drinking water must be boiled in Martinborough until further notice

2:11pm, 3 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 continues to be our priority. We’re continuing to work with Regional Public Health and promote the Boil Water message by providing updates on our website and Facebook page, via media and with the visual public displays on SH53.

The 20,000-litre tanker, which was on the corner of Cork Street and Strasbourge Street, has now been replaced by emergency water bladders, with multiple tap stations, behind the Waihinga Centre. The bladders will stay in place until the town water supply is confirmed clear. Thank you to Wellington Water and City Care for there help in getting them here and setting them up.

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.


  • Health Services have been asked to report any unusual levels of illness to Regional Public Health. Currently reported levels of illness are not above that expected at this time of year.

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.


Media Contact

Amy Wharram

027 252 2863

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