17 Oct 2017

Canterbury parents warned over dirty tap water

From Morning Report, 8:42 am on 17 October 2017

A top health official is warning of risk to newborn babies from increasing agricultural contamination of Canterbury's groundwater which has already claimed at least one life.

Data from the regional council shows nitrate levels have risen in almost a quarter of the private drinking water wells it has monitored for the past decade.

While harmless to adults, nitrates cause blue baby syndrome which can be fatal to newborns and has been confirmed as the cause of death of one infant.

The Canterbury medical officer of health, Dr Alistair Humphrey, tells us an increase in the levels means the risk of infants under six months developing the syndrome remains real.