Water  |  18 Feb 2021

Christchurch City Council is working quickly to create a temporary bypass for the contaminated water reservoir in Akaroa.

Preparation work has already started and the temporary water tanks will be delivered to the reservoir’s site at L’Aube Hill Reserve next week.

The tanks will allow the contaminated water reservoir to be removed from Akaroa and Takamātua’s shared water supply network so it can be fully drained and inspected before either being reinstated or replaced.

The Council also expects the results of its protozoa testing next week. Protozoa are single-celled organisms, also known as parasites, which include cryptosporidium and giardia.

Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont says a negative test result for protozoa will not affect the boil water notice.

“Even if testing shows there is no protozoa in the water supply, we still need to keep the boil water notice in place. The reservoir is still the source of the risk, and we need to eliminate that risk before we can say with confidence the water is safe again.

“Residents must keep boiling their water until further notice, or they can access safe, clean water from the tankers available in Akaroa, or use bottled water.

“Bringing water to a boil is enough to kill any bugs, but tap water used in coffee machines must be boiled first. Using household or commercial dishwashers on a hot setting will also kill any bugs.”

Ms Beaumont says getting the reservoir bypass in place is complicated but staff are working as quickly as possible to get it done.

“We’ve started preparing the site for the arrival of the temporary water tanks and associated pipework next week.

“While we can’t yet give a specific timeframe, we expect to have the work completed within the next few weeks and will keep people regularly updated as it happens.

“We thank residents and visitors to Akaroa and Takamātua for their patience while we carry out this important work to make sure the local water supply is free of contaminants.”

Residents are being encouraged to share the boil water message with friends and family in the areas, and on social media, and to contact the Council with any questions.

Anyone experiencing gastroenteritis symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, nausea, stomach cramps or high fever) should contact their general practice (GP) team, or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7.

Akaroa will host both the La Grande Swim event and Akaroa 10s dragon boating event this weekend.

Visiting participants and spectators are asked to bring their own drinking water for the events to ensure the water tankers in Akaroa remain for residents’ use only.

The Council is continuing to work closely with Akaroa’s health centre and resthome and is supplying safe, clean water to Akaroa Area School.