The Tararua District Council issued a precautionary boil water notice for the Pongaroa water supply due to a chlorine system fault yesterday.

People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, pregnant women and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their healthcare providers.

In December last year the council issued a precautionary boil water notice for Pongaroa.

This followed a notice issued in March 2016 after Pongaroa's urban and rural supply failed an E.coli test. That notice was lifted two weeks later.


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Peter Wimsett, council's manager of district strategy and development, said at the time the problem had been caused after the supply's chlorinator failed, prompting council to begin planning for an upgrade of the water scheme.

In October last year the Tararua District Council agreed to an additional $75,000 for the Pongaroa rural water scheme, to provide additional filtration to better manage the risk of turbid water entering the water treatment plant and also to separate existing private roof water systems from the new treated main water supply.

The Ministry of Health had approved the Pongaroa town water supply treatment project, which had an original cost estimate of $505,500, with council debt funding providing $112,375, along with a Ministry of Health subsidy of $393,125.

The additional $75,000 was available in the council's Pongaroa depreciation special reserve fund.

Mr Wimsett said the additional funding would provide a more robust filter system, with the additional treatment system providing an exra layer of protection to allow the plant to operate in a wider range of conditions.

"Pongaroa will have a 21st century water system which meets all MoH requirements and is protected for the future," Mr Wimsett told district councillors last year.