Water quality monitoring continues
Daily monitoring of up to 25 sites on Lake Taupō and the Waikato River continues following the wastewater washout on Lake Terrace last Tuesday.
The testing has confirmed that there was significant microbial contamination following the washout, but levels have dropped considerably since the initial discharge and continue to fall.
Head of operations Kevin Strongman said the test sites included the Taupō water treatment plant, the washout site and key recreational sites along the lake front and river.
“At no time have we been concerned about the quality of the public drinking water supply at our Taupō plant as our intake is well clear of the contaminated area and we are continuously monitoring both untreated and treated water around the plant. We have shut off our Centennial Drive plant and are supplying that scheme, at reduced capacity, from the Taupō plant. We’d like to thank the larger businesses in that area for working with us to help reduce water demand,” he said.
“Contamination remains at levels that are unacceptable for recreational use at several locations, including the lake front in the vicinity of the washout and we have signage in place to warn the community about this. There is a rahui now in place so people should be abstaining from taking food from Tapuaeharuru Bay and the Waikato River to Aratiatia. We also have signage in place at several sites along the river, including Otumuheke, to remind people to keep clear of the water. We’re taking a very conservative approach to this and will continue to take samples at least daily until we are certain the water is safe for people to use,” he said.
Mr Strongman said that council was in discussions with Tūwharetoa Maori Trust Board and Waikato Regional Council about how best to proceed with clean-up operations on the lake shore and it was hoped a start could be made on this as soon as possible.