30 Apr 2007

Fiji officials say students claims about water quality are untrue

6:41 pm on 30 April 2007

The divisional engineer for Northern Water Supplies in Fiji says the finding that some water in the northern division's treated water supply system is contaminated, is untrue.

Secondary school students tested water samples from 8 residential areas in Fiji's northern division, and five of the areas tested positive to coliform bacteria, which can cause typhoid.

Engineer Timoci Turaga, says health and public works officials re-tested all the students sampling points and found the water to be above standards.

He says the water supplies in their treated scheme had no faecal coliform because it had the required chlorine residue.

"The school hasn't got that equipment to detect this or to sample or test for this typhoid fever. It needs a more sophisticated instrument. They use a very crude method. The testing of the chlorine residue for faecal coliform as confirmed by our staff and the health inspector, the equipment was very crude."

Timoci Turaga says students tested two areas that are not within the metered scheme, rural areas where water is not treated.