A second test has come back clear or negative of any E.Coli in the Kawerau reticulation system but residents have been asked to keep boiling their water.

Kawerau District Council Chief Executive Russell George said the test was the second clear test in a row.

The boiling water restriction was put in place on Saturday after a positive test for E.Coli bacteria was returned from a routine water sample on January 2.

The sample showed a high E.Coli count.


The Kawerau District Council immediately notified the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and other agencies. In conjunction with the BOPDHB Medical Officer of Health it was determined to put the 'boil water notice' in place for the Kawerau District.

The council would provide a formal report to the Bay of Plenty District Health Board by the end of the week.

"As soon as the positive test was received on Saturday, staff have been investigating all potential causes and also inspecting areas of the water system and the reservoir," George said.

"Having a second clear test is a positive. We will await the results of the third test tomorrow and then advice from the Ministry of Health officials."

Kawerau District residents have been told the best way to boil the water is in a pot on the stove where the water can be brought to a rolling boil for one minute. Once the water is cooled, it can be consumed.

Water samples are tested 24 hours after they are taken, to enable any bacteria growth to be measured. The sample from yesterday returned a negative reading for E. Coli.

"The boil water notice can only be lifted by the Medial Officer of Health and the Ministry of Health who the Council would be in further discussions with after the result of the third test is known on Tuesday January 7, 2020," George said.

"We advise residents to continue to bring drinking water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. This water can then be cooled and used for drinking, teeth cleaning and for washing vegetables, fruit and salad that may be eaten raw."


George said he was thankful for the many residents who had taken the time to check on friends, whanau and neighbours – as of course not necessarily everyone has access to social media or even the radio.

Once the notice to boil water was put in place, the council immediately contacted Radio 1XX to advise residents and then set about using the council communication channels like Facebook and the website to notify our residents.

"The boil water notice was also in place for the two chlorine-free drinking stations at River Rd and in the town centre.

"We appreciate this is a concern for people particularly those with young children or elderly, but Ministry of Health guidelines assure us that boiling the water for at least a minute and then cooling it – the water is safe to consume."

Caution should be taken with toddlers and young children in the bath to ensure they don't consume any water.

For more information please visit the Kawerau District Council website or Facebook or phone 07 306 9009.