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JUICERS AUSTRALIAWater DistillersJUICERS AUSTRALIATown Water Makes Locals Sick!

Wairarapa Times-Age - New Zealand
Friday, 5 April 2002

Tapwater not fit for stock, Martinborough claimTapwater not fit for stock

Martinborough claim


Tapwater not fit for stock, Martinborough claim

A MARTINBOROUGH couple say the town water is contaminated and is making them sick. But the South Wairarapa District Council says the problems with dirty water isn’t its fault.

The couple, who chose not to be identified, said independent tests showed the water has six times the safe level of coliforms for humans to drink and is below World Health Organisation standards.

They said they had been feeling unwell for some time and underwent a raft of tests to find the cause. “We went to the doctor and had blood tests, X-rays, an ECG and other tests but they came up negative. Finally we decided it might be the water and had it tested. The tests came back saying it wasn’t even fit for stock water.”

The report by Industrial Chemistry Services shows there was a count of 62 coliform bacteria in each 100ml of water, meaning it fails to meet World Health Organisation microbiological standards for drinking water.

The count for human consumption should be less than 10 and less than 50 for stock. “Contamination may be due to seepage from an oxidation pond or septic tank, or from surface water runoff. This water is considered potentially harmful without treatment,” the report said.

The couple said others within the town have similar symptoms to them, including flu-like aches, burning eyes, a rough throat, lethargy and a rash, and say the water is to blame. Both said it wasn’t until they sat down and discussed how they were feeling that they realised they were suffering from the same symptoms.

Once the report from the industrial chemist came back they invested in a water distiller, costing them $900, but there is more sediment than could be expected. They said their rates should entitle them to clean drinking water.

A MARTINBOROUGH couple say the town water is contaminated and is making them sick. But the South Wairarapa District Council says the problems with dirty water isn’t its fault
MARTINBOROUGH’S water has six times the coliforms allowed for humans to drink. - Picture by Lynda Feringa.

“We have our distiller so we are OK. What we are concerned about is the other people of the town, especially the elderly. “Greytown and Featherston have a state-of-the-art filtration system, why shouldn’t we if our water is substandard?”

Ravi Mangar, South Wairarapa District Council works and services manager, said the water is tested at the main bore and within the town every week and has always come out clear. Mr Mangar said the council has never received a complaint about the quality of Martinborough’s water and the problem could be a leak within the couple’s property. “The only complaints we have had have been about deposits on heating elements, especially in hot water cylinders,” he said.

“We cannot treat Martinborough water because it has manganese in it and that is why we can’t get a good rating. If we treat with chlorine the water will react with the manganese and become discoloured.” This can be seen when the town’s swimming pool is filled at the beginning of the summer and it takes about two weeks for the sediment to be cleared out, Mr Mangar said.

Before the bore was put in in 1990, Martinborough’s water was pumped from the Huangarua Stream, but Mr Mangar said this was not adequate as it often ran dry in summer. Now the supply goes directly from the bore to houses, with the excess pumped to the reservoir.

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