15 Jul 2017

Council 'fully co-operated' over Havelock North water inquiry

9:56 am on 15 July 2017

The inquiry into Havelock North's water contamination has recommended all the town's bores be regarded as non-secure, and advised two litres of water be tested every day for the next year.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Almost a year after campylobacter in the town's drinking water made 5000 people sick, a government inquiry found all of the town's bores are at risk of contamination.

The inquiry, chaired by the lawyer Lynton Stevens, said all the bores drawn on for water were potentially subject to the influence of surface water or were at risk of contamination from the sewerage system.

It said as a result the bores should be regarded as what it called "non-secure" and it wanted two litres of water to be sampled and tested for contamination every day for the next year.

The report said the recommendations were developed, but an impasse was reached and the inquiry suggested a telephone conference to resolve the issues.

It said the council then advised it was "either unable or unwilling to participate in such telephone conference".

The report said despite the failure to agree on consent recommendations, the inquiry panel still thought it was appropriate to issue them.

Council responds

Hastings District Council said it fully complied with the inquiry, despite the report saying the council was unwilling to help resolve a problem with the findings.

The acting mayor of Hastings Sandra Hazlehurst said the council accepted the findings and had fully co-operated with the inquiry.

She said the council had been totally committed to implementing all of the findings of the inquiry and it was early days.

"As far as we're aware our experts have been working together with our legal counsel to ensure that we're implementing every part of the recommendations from the inquiry, so that is the full intention of our council."

She said the council would ensure it was assisting the inquiry and making sure it provided safe drinking water for residents.

Mrs Hazlehurst said the whole water network had been fully protected since August last year and the council had recently approved $12 million in its long-term plan for water security.

She said that was a significant amount and would include UV treatment, carbon filters and implementing what was required by the inquiry.

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