Napier's drinking water being chlorinated following positive test
Napier's drinking water has returned a positive test for E.coli, prompting the city council to chlorinate all of its water supply, with the exception of Otatara and Puketapu.
The test came back on Tuesday, and is the latest in string of positive results in Napier's water supply this year.
The result was at the lowest level determinable, however, the council and the Hawke's Bay District Health Board took the decision to "urgently begin a programme of chlorination first thing tomorrow [Wednesday] as a precautionary measure".
Following an initial scare in February, the council switched to more accurate testing rather than relying on just positive or negative results.
* Napier's drinking water being chlorinated as 'precautionary measure'
* Napier's Ahuriri Estuary still unsafe for swimming due to high levels of E-coli
* Chlorine to remain in Napier's water despite negative E.coli tests
Napier City Council spokesman Chris Dolley said: " ... having such a high number of transgressions has come as a surprise to us all and along with this period of chlorination, we're rolling out a series of planned improvements to the entire water network, starting tomorrow.
"We understand that residents may feel nervous, especially in light of previous water issues around Hawke's Bay, however we are confident that we are dealing with this positive test in the best way possible."
The improvements will concentrate on modifying or completely overhauling the testing points.
Dolley said it is a massive effort requiring a great deal of resource, and they will receive assistance from the Hastings District Council.
A positive E.coli test in a water supply can indicate the presence or for other pathogens, including Campylobacteriosis, Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis.
"We take this matter extremely seriously and feel that the responsible thing to do is to chlorinate the network for a period of weeks," said Mayor Bill Dalton.
"In the past, we've successfully isolated and chlorinated particular reservoirs. This time we will chlorinate widely, and for up to a month, in order to eliminate whatever bugs are affecting our water."
Chlorination wil begin at 8am and residents in Taradale, Bayview and the central suburbs of Napier may smell or taste chlorine in their water from Wednesday afternoon onwards.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
* Boiling water is not necessary, the council have said.
* Rigorous daily testing will continue and schools, businesses and tourism operators are being notified of the chlorination.
* A chlorine-free tap, drawing water from the unaffected Otatara and Puketapu area, will be established as soon as possible.
* Regular water updates via Facebook, radio and newspapers, and other channels will be available as the chlorination programme continues.