Residents suspicious about water review

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 09:00 25/01/2014

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Tap water could be back on the menu in Tokomaru after the Horowhenua community's 12-year boil water notice was put under review 11 years early.

But questions surround the timing of the review and what has actually been done to the quality of the water to prompt the decision.

Horowhenua District Council spokesman Kelvin Teixeira said "all the water supplies in the district currently supply safe drinking water".

"This is why the Tokomaru precautionary boil water notice is being reviewed," he said. "The precautionary boil water notice for Tokomaru has not been lifted, but it is being reviewed and the community will be advised of the outcome as soon as a decision has been made."

Tokomaru resident Christine Toms said the review was rubbish and someone had their wires crossed.

Mrs Toms has been a long time advocate of safe, clean drinking water and will be presenting an oral submission to the Local Government and Environment Committee next week in support of a petition she began.

"You cannot have E grade without any treatment whatsoever apart from a bit of chlorine thrown in every so often, it is not safe drinking water," she said. "With summer heat and repeated freshes caused by recent rainfall, untreated water such as Tokomaru's is even more at risk.

"There has been no change in the condition of the water whatsoever."

Tokomaru Village and Community Association spokeswoman Lorne Jorgensen said the town would be delighted if they were to review the policy "but when they say review what do they mean by that?

"It sounds as though they may be softening their policy but it doesn't say what it is exactly what it is they want to do.

"If they can guarantee us the water is not a risk then we will be absolutely fine with the review. But if they are removing the policy because they don't want to upset the citizens and nothing else has changed then we won't be very happy about that."

Ross Campbell, Horowhenua district councillor for the community, said he wasn't aware of any review but it could only bring good news.

"I know nothing about it and I'm the councillor for Tokomaru," he said. "I was at a meeting two-three weeks ago with some Tokomaru people and the mayor, and the mayor said the issue wouldn't be talked about for a number of years.

"Tokomaru people have a genuine issue with the problem, any water that comes into your home that can't be trusted is a concern."

Mr Campbell said he would be seeking clarification from the council .

"We all, in this modern day and age, deserve to have good safe water.

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"If there is a problem with contamination in the river or the [extraction] point then somewhere in the system, between the river and the homes, we should have the necessary items in place to nullify that contamination."

- Manawatu Standard

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