Compensation for Raetihi's water-supply contamination is being investigated by Ohakune lawyers.
Lawyer Joanna Jordan, of Harris Harvey Nash, said a questionnaire was being sent out to see if there was a mood for the claim.
Raetihi residents and businesses were being asked if they wished to be included in a collective negotiation for compensation against Ruapehu Alpine Lifts for the contamination.
Ms Jordan said the only real cost residents could claim against their insurance would be for malfunction of something such as a burned-out hot-water cylinder.
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Such claims would probably be wiped by policy excesses.
At the height of the contamination - when over 19,000 litres of diesel leaked from a tank on Mt Ruapehu into Raetihi's water supply - the Makotuku Stream, Ms Jordan said up to 20 families packed up their children and camped in the Ruatiti Valley. It was during the school holidays.
The compensation could be $1000-$3000 for ongoing stress and harm, depending on how many people lived in the house at the time. Absent householders would have a lesser claim.
Christchurch lawyers will act with Harris Harvey Nash to bring the claim. Raetihi residents can contact Ms Jordan on 06 385 8321 if they have not received the questionnaire.