The boil water notice for Havelock North water has been lifted - three weeks after the initial gastro outbreak which affected around 5200 people.

The Hastings District Council announced this afternoon that the third clear water test in a row came back today, allowing the notice to be lifted.

The results confirm that water from the Hastings source is fully through the Havelock North system after the Brookfield bores were closed off early last week, Hastings District Council chief executive Ross McLeod said.

The boil water was imposed on August 12 after the Hawke's Bay District Health Board and Hastings District Council considered that the water could be the cause of illness being suffered by an abnormally large number of Havelock North residents.

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The water was immediately chlorinated and a 'boil water' notice issued. The suspicion that the water was the cause of the wave of illness was confirmed by water test results the following day.

Water tests taken daily have until three days ago indicated that residual amounts of the Brookvale water remained in the system.

The Ministry of Health asked that three days of 'clear' results be recorded before the boil water notice was lifted.

Residents, building owners, business owners and their staff are being asked to take steps to ensure pipes are flushed through before drinking the water.

These included running internal taps for 2-3 minutes and until the water is clear.

If there are water fountains on site , such as for schools and child care centres, run them for 2-3 minutes and until the water is clear

Run outdoor taps run them for 2-3 minutes and until the water is clear if children or pets are likely to drink from them

Owners of large buildings, such as rest homes and office blocks, should take care to run the taps at the ends of their systems to draw the water right through the building's pipes

Then, water users are advised to empty stored water and ice trays and refill with fresh water, run plumbed in ice makers on fridges for 2-3 minutes and the water is clear, and empty storage water tanks that are linked to the town supply and refill

Once those steps are taken, residents can be confident that the water is safe to drink.

Mr McLeod said council was pleased and relieved to be able to lift the boil water notice.

"This has been a very difficult time for our residents and anything we can do to make their lives a bit easier is being done as fast as we can."

As set out in the Drinking Water Standards New Zealand the water supply will continue to be chlorinated for at least three months. Hastings District Council has committed to daily water tests for the foreseeable future.

- People who need advice or help with emptying water storage tanks can call Council on 871 5000.