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Another extension keeps Martinborough on the boil

A resident takes water from a bladder borrowed from Wellington Water. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
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Yesterday marked two weeks since Martinborough’s water was deemed undrinkable, with the boil water notice set to remain in place until next week.

And while the ordeal has been “frustrating” for residents, businesses and visitors alike, Destination Wairarapa does not believe it will taint the reputation of the popular tourist town.

The boil water notice was issued on February 1 after E.coli was detected in the town water supply.

South Wairarapa District Council says the most likely cause of the contamination was when the ultra violet disinfection system malfunctioned and untreated bore water was pumped into the town for 14 hours.

Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock says he doesn’t believe Martinborough will be hindered by the water crisis.

“I don’t think it’s going to be impacted by it. The industry is strong, and the rest of the region is supporting them.”

He said despite the obvious challenges, everyone seemed to be coping and staying relatively upbeat about the situation.

“I think the tourist operators have been incredibly positive. It is a difficult thing to operate under . . . everything is still open and everyone can still have the great time that they went to Martinborough for.”

Hancock said the contaminated water had been “frustrating for everybody” and he believed the council understood how important it was to get on top of the problem for the community.

“[SWDC] will be doing everything they possibly can, I’m sure.”

Martinborough’s water network was completely flushed with freshwater yesterday from about 7pm until 7am today, as one of the final steps to restore safe drinking water to the town.

Council communications manager Amy Wharram said residents and overnight visitors could expect some discolouration of water after the flushing period.

They will have to run an outside or household tap for at least 15 minutes or until water runs clear, she said.

“Running a tap after the flushing period helps effective clearing of the main pipe into your property.”

Wharram said there should be little impact on the ways in which people can use the water during the flushing period.

“After boiling, the water [if running clear] can still be drunk and used for making up formula, juices and ice, washing fruits and vegetables, other cooking needs, or brushing teeth.

“The water can also be used to bathe or shower as normal.”

As a precaution, rural households with trickle feed tanks are advised to add bleach to their tank water, if they haven’t already done so.

It is anticipated the boil water notice will be lifted early next week.

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