2 Mar 2021

East Otago water supply public meeting delayed

6:26 pm on 2 March 2021

A public meeting on the lead contamination of East Otago's water supply has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Waikouaiti River, Otago.

Waikouaiti River, Otago. Photo: Google Maps

A no-drink notice remains in effect in Waikouaiti, Karitane and Hawksbury Village after concerning levels of lead have been detected in the area's water supply over the past seven months.

The highest level recorded was almost 40 times the acceptable limit.

The vast majority of the area's about 1500 residents have been tested for blood-lead levels as a result.

RNZ revealed last month some people had returned blood-lead levels above the internationally-accepted safe level, including children.

An earlier public meeting on the lead in the water supply attracted hundreds of people.

The Dunedin City Council said this Friday's planned meeting had been postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

"The meeting is now rescheduled for Wednesday, 10 March at the East Otago Events Centre, Waikouaiti, from 7-9 pm.

"Public Health South and the Dunedin City Council will report their findings relating to lead levels in the Waikouaiti/Karitane/Hawksbury Village water supply. Results of blood tests taken over the past few weeks will be discussed and the DCC will update the community on its investigations into potential causes of the elevated lead levels detected in the water supply, as well as next steps."

The council and Public Health South would report on what their investigations had discovered so far.

If the region was not back to alert level one by the time of the rescheduled meeting the council would consult with the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board on what to do next.

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