With more bad weather expected Ōhakune residents are asked to continue boiling all the water they use for drinking, cooking and even brushing their teeth.

Ruapehu District Council issued a boiled water notice on July 16, because water supplied to the Central Plateau town had become murky after bouts of heavy rain.

Though it would only be likely to harm elderly people, babies or people with compromised immune systems, it didn't meet national standards, environmental manager Anne-Marie Westcott said. Boiling all drinking water is a precaution.

Water will look as usual when it comes out of the tap, but people are asked to boil it for two minutes, then cool it, or else to use bottled water. Ōhakune New World has a supply of bottled water.


The notice will be removed once the council has three days of negative tests, Westcott said. At present test results are fluctuating, and MetService is predicting more rain on July 20.

The notice will likely be lifted next week, or whenever the weather clears.

The Ōhakune water system supplies 1880 properties, and it's a busy time for the town with school holidays and the ski season in full swing.

Another complication has been The Lines Company's rolling power outages to 180 properties in six Ōhakune streets. The company supplied those people with drinking water from a tanker on July 18.

The outages were needed to repair ageing power lines and strengthen Ōhakune's background supply, the company said. They were done in the holidays, in order not to disrupt a school.

Ōhakune's town water is sourced from the Tutara (Serpentine) Stream in Tongariro National Park, a tributary of the Mangawhero River. It is gravity piped to Ōhakune and goes through four stages of treatment before being stored in tanks and piped to residents.