Drinking water standards to be beefed up after Havelock North gastro crisis
Drinking water standards to be beefed up after Havelock North gastro crisis It comes following the biggest ever review into the network.
Source: 1 NEWS The Health Minister is tightening up drinking water standards, including the testing for bacteria, following the Havelock North water contamination over two years ago that left 5000 people sick in a gastro outbreak.
"The bottom line is public safety.
A high reading doesn’t necessarily mean drinking-water is unsafe but can serve as an indicator of potential issues, he said.
He’s also considering a change to testing for E.Coli.
At the moment drinking-water suppliers test to determine if E. Coli is present in water and then carry out a second test if the initial test is positive.
This means a delay of up to two days before authorities know if there is a contamination.
Dr Clark says this should eliminate the need to carry out a second test, as the initial test will be able to determine both the presence of these bacteria and also how prevalent they are.
There will be consultation on changes affecting testing for E.coli and other coliform bacteria, which will include talking to testing laboratories which don’t provide this form of testing to ensure they will have the capacity to provide this service into the future, he said.
The paper on the future of the three waters system details proposals for a system-wide reform of regulation of drinking water, along with a new risk management regime for sources of drinking-water.