Dye testing used to find Maitai E coli leak

SARAH DUNN
Last updated 12:58 17/07/2014

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Nelson City Council is looking for a broken pipe that is leaking sewage within one or two metres of the Maitai River.

Alec Louverdis, group manager for infrastructure, said his team had been carrying out dye testing to find the source of the leak, which had caused E coli contamination in the lower section of the river.

A leak has been discovered and repaired in a sewer pipe at the corner of Halifax and Rutherford Sts, but further testing indicated a second leak near the Riverside footbridge. Contractors were working this morning to find the broken pipe and repair it.

"It's a slow process but we're confident we'll get a result," said Louverdis. "Leaks are often difficult to detect so we're pleased to be making progress finding the source."

He said the same dye testing exercise had been carried out two years ago and no problems were found with the pipes. Louverdis described the visible leaks as a "much greater success", and said that their detection would bring the council one step closer to its aim of allowing people to be able to safely swim in the lower Matai again.

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