UPDATE: Boil notice in Featherston: FAQs

17 February 2022

A boil notice has been put in place in Featherston, due to heavy rainfall which has led to surface water contaminating the Boar Bush reservoir.

Wellington Water anticipates the boil water notice to be in place until early next week. On Thursday its crews are working on a flushing plan to clear the network of any contaminants.

During flushing, users may experience lower water pressure than normal. Please continue to boil all drinking water during this time.

Wellington Water apologises for the frustration users may be experiencing and appreciate their patience while the issue is being fixed.

The boil notice will likely be in place until early next week. It applies to all businesses and residents connected to the urban water supply.

Under a boil notice, all drinking water must be boiled. This includes drinking water; making baby formula, juice or ice; washing fruit or vegetables; preparing food or cooking; or brushing teeth.

This is particularly necessary for babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people who have weakened immune systems and 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).

Below are some answers to questions you may have about washing, hygiene and laundry under a boil notice.


What caused the contamination?

The past weekend’s unusually high rainfall caused surface water to enter the concrete reservoir that stores treated drinking water, contaminating the water supply.

As a precaution, we advise that water be boiled before use, as this is the best way to make water safe.

How long do I need to boil the water for?

Boiling will kill all disease-causing organisms.

• Place the water in a clean metal pan and bring the water to a rolling boil (where bubbles appear in the centre and do not disappear when the water is stirred) for one minute.

• Alternatively, boil an electric jug full of water until the switch turns off.

• Cool water (do not use ice cubes to do this) and pour into clean container with a lid.

• Refrigerate until needed.

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

No. Filtered water should also be boiled 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?

If you are washing dishes by hand then boiled water should be used. If your dishwasher has a hot setting, it can be used to wash dishes. If it doesn’t have a hot setting, once it’s finished, rinse the dishes in a bleach solution afterwards (2 drops unscented household bleach per 1 litre of water). Allow the dishes to completely air dry. You can continue to do your laundry as you normally would.

Will schools, aged care facilities and other facilities be provided with bottled water in the meantime?

Yes, we will be providing bottled water. Bottled water has been provided to Featherston School and St. Teresa’s School.

Will water trucks be supplied if the Boil Water Notice goes on for longer than a week?

Yes, water trucks will be deployed if the Boil Water Notice goes on for longer than a week.

For more information contact South Wairarapa District Council on 06 306 9611 or go to wellingtonwater.co.nz.

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