East Otago residents still unable to drink tap water

By Te Ao - Māori News

Residents in East Otago are being asked to continue not using tap water for drinking, cooking or preparing food.

This comes three weeks after Dunedin City Council issued a notice declaring the water reservoir that supplies drinking water to the townships of Karitane and Waikouaiti was contaminated with lead. More than 1500 people have now been tested for possible lead contamination in the blood.

Last week Dunedin mayor Aaron Hawkins welcomed the government’s announcement of a rapid review of the health response to lead contamination.

”It’s also consistent with my own commitment to work with the Southern District Health Board on an independent review of processes at our end,” Hawkins says.

“In the meantime, our focus remains on identifying the source of the issue, ensuring safe drinking water is available to affected residents, and supporting our community’s wellbeing through this difficult period.”

Water tankers and 5000-litre static water tanks have been made available for the public at nine locations.

Water Tank Locations


Golden Fleece Hotel, Kildare St entrance

165 Beach Street, corner Beach/Stewart Streets

Waikouaiti School, 6 Malloch St

East Otago Events Centre, 203 Main Road

Waikouaiti Golf Club, 210 Edinburgh Street


Community Hall, 1381 Coast Road

Reserve/playground, 1 Old Head Street

Puketeraki Marae, 520 Apes Rd

Hawksbury Village

Duncan Avenue, near cheese factory

The council says investigations into the source of the contamination continue.

A detailed update on the situation is expected to be delivered at a public meeting at the East Otago Events Centre in Waikouaiti at 7pm on March 5.