A West Auckland family have quit their rented farm house in disgust after their water supply was contaminated by a cattle trough in a nearby paddock.

Bart Lear, his wife, Diane, and two sons moved out of Redhills Rd, Massey, last week after nine years of enjoying keeping chickens, a dog and a cat.

The good life went sour in May last year when they became concerned about dirty water.

Mr Lear, a pensioner, said his complaints were dismissed by representatives of the landlord, Hugh Green Group.

The company associated with farmer and philanthropist Hugh Green is grazing cattle at the former lion and tiger safari park while waiting for it to be zoned for urban housing.

"In May last year we suffered persistent stomach illness," said Mr Lear.

"We took a sample [of water] up to the local chemist, who does tests for swimming pool water and he told us to take it to the council," said Mr Lear.

Mr Lear discovered stock water troughs were connected to the supply line for the house.

He complained and in July and August 2008, Waitakere City Council had tests done on a water sample from the bathroom tap.

The laboratory reported it contained blue-green algae and nematodes - worms found in many aquatic and soil environments.

Examination of a sample from the trough in the upper paddock showed similar algae and worms.

Council spokesman Wally Thomas said the landlord was ordered to disconnect the troughs from the supply line.

The council also fitted a backflow device where the council's water main meets the property's supply line.

But in August, the family's stomach illness resumed and cuts on their bodies turned into septic sores.

"We kept complaining to the council and in September and October they did tests."

This time a sample of the pipe from the service line to the house showed algae and micro organisms as found before in the samples collected from the house and the cow trough.

"The stuff that had come from the trough was still growing in our pipe," said Mr Lear.

The council last week issued the landlord a notice to replace and bury the service pipe which lies on the surface of the ground.

Company executives did not respond to requests for comment.