Canterbury tap water judged safe to drink

9:57 pm on 8 April 2011

Cantabrians can safely drink tap water once again.

A boil-water notice, which has been in place for six weeks since a devastating earthquake on 22 February was lifted for residents of Christchurch, Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula on Friday.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker made the announcement, calling it "one more positive step towards normality".

Mr Parker says the return to potable water represents thousands of hours of work on a system which is still fragile and it is still important that people minimise their water use.

Canterbury's Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey said on Friday that intensive testing is continuing in Christchurch's east and south, although contaminated water has not been detected for at least 11 days.

Dr Humphrey says chlorination will help to ensure that the water remains safe and he is highly confident that people will not get sick from drinking it.

However, he says people must remain vigilant about areas where surface water is still pooling on the ground.

Residents should still conserve water to avoid putting pressure on the city's water supply and waste water infrastructure, Dr Humphrey says.

The Christchurch City Council says residents who find that their water supply is still not working should call 03 941 8999.