Twenty per cent of New Zealand drinking water ‘at risk’, report calls for urgent treatment of all supplies
The drinking water of 20 per cent of the country is at risk – and an inquiry has recommended all drinking water be urgently treated.
The inquiry into Havelock North’s drinking water contamination released a damning 296 page report into the safety and security of New Zealand’s drinking water supply.
It’s the second stage of an inquiry launched following the August 2016 water contamination in Havelock North, which left 5000 people sick.
1 NEWS political reporter Katie Bradford has followed the saga since the 2016 gastro outbreak saw thousands taken ill.
Source: 1 NEWS Led by Hon Lyn Stevens, Dr Karen Poutasi and Anthony Wilson, it says: "These findings point to a widespread systemic failure among water suppliers to meet the high standards required for the supply of safe drinking water to the public.
"The industry has demonstrated that it is not capable of itself improving when the standards are not met."
A number of recommendations need to be made urgently, the authors say.
That includes universal treatment of all drinking water – likely to be controversial and expensive.
It says the Ministry of Health needs to overhaul drinking water standards and introduce six new principles aimed at ensuring a safe and secure supply.
"The Director-General of Health can and should, in the interests of public safety and welfare, exercise effective and practical leadership to encourage water suppliers to use appropriate and effective treatment without delay."