Govt must look at causes of contamination country-wide in Havelock North inquiry

The Government must look at how different land uses contribute to the contamination of drinking water supplies in its inquiry into the Havelock North drinking water debacle, the Green Party said today.

Disease-causing E. coli and campylobacter bacteria have been reported in water supplies in other parts of the country in recent years, including Patea, Hanmer Springs and Christchurch.

“We want the Government to take this opportunity to assess how land use around the country affects drinking water supplies,” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“The type of land use in a community, for example agriculture, industrial or urban, affects the cleanliness of water in underground aquifers and bores so we need the inquiry to take into account how these activities pollute water across the country.

“At present, 15 percent of New Zealanders get their drinking water from bores and other unregistered supplies, so saying that we could just chlorinate every registered supply will not protect those dependent on bores.

“The Government has an opportunity to take strong action on drinking water and protect the health of communities with this inquiry – let’s hope they don’t squander it,” said Ms Delahunty.

 

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