East Otago residents hope assessment will present clues on water contamination

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Residents affected by the water lead contamination subject in east Otago hope a prime degree assessment will shed some mild on the problem.

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A water tanker was offered for affected residents.
Picture: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Affiliate minister of well being Ayesha Verrall has ordered a rapid review into the well being system response after the poisonous heavy steel was discovered within the water provide, saying what has happened in the town is unacceptable.

The assessment will look at the general well being response to the scenario, and the way the chance to public well being was assessed.

Nonetheless, Karitane resident Gary Offen was apprehensive the price of the federal government assessment can be too excessive and the main focus was within the flawed place.

“In the meanwhile, the nation wants each penny we are able to get. However I do imagine that there ought to be an individual liable for holding again the data. The spike within the lead ought to have been made public then and a assessment of that’s needed, however whether or not it is a authorities one or not, I am unsure about that,” Offen stated.

He has been fairly pleased with the council’s response to this point.

“Dunedin Metropolis Council have reacted very well. They’ve made positive that there’s satisfactory contemporary water for everyone to drink and so they’re even going over backwards with the fresh vegetables, blood sampling. They can not actually do any extra to allay any fears that the general public may need. The massive drawback is discovering out the place the lead drawback comes from.”

That subject nonetheless sits with Dunedin Metropolis Council, which has introduced it should change 4km of pipes within the subsequent few months.

Hawksbury Village resident Andrew believed that was precisely the place the main focus ought to be.

“I am slightly bit involved, not quite a lot of shock given there’s quite a lot of outdated pipes. But it surely wasn’t that stunning to me, like the likelihood has at all times been there with how outdated quite a lot of that infrastructure is,” he stated.

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A Hawksbury Village resident says the outdated infrastructure meant it was not stunning to listen to of reports of elevated ranges of lead in water samples.
Picture: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Andrew supported the federal government assessment.

“Anytime something like this occurs the place there’s individuals uncovered, it is good to determine what occurred.”

He may perceive why a pink flag was not raised earlier as a result of there had been solely intermittent spikes of lead, Andrew stated.

He received his blood examined for lead earlier right this moment on the free neighborhood clinic on the East Otago Occasions Centre in Waikouaiti.

Greater than 190 individuals had blood taken by early afternoon after they first opened the clinic at 9am. One other 280 individuals had been examined yesterday.

WellSouth chief govt Andrew Swanson-Dobbs stated it had been a constructive begin with the free testing clinic, which was set to stay open for the remainder of the week.

“The outcomes go on to individuals’s GP to allow them to name their normal practitioner and get the outcomes. However our name centre that we have used previously for Covid and now for the lead ranges, they will name them and get the outcomes or we’ll be calling individuals too,” he stated.

Whereas particular person take a look at outcomes are anticipated to take about 48 hours, it may take two to 3 weeks for any findings to be made public.

Swanson-Dobbs stated going via all of the collated information would take time.

“A number of officers want to take a look at all that data and name the general public assembly once they’ve received the data to inform the general public again,” Swanson-Dobbs stated.

“However be reassured. The people who’ve are available in right this moment, tomorrow and up till Friday, will probably be instructed as quickly as our labs have processed what their blood ranges are. So individually as quickly as attainable, however collectively as a neighborhood, that will probably be as much as Public Well being and the council to return again to the neighborhood and say what the general outcomes appear to be.”

Residents ought to begin to obtain their take a look at outcomes from tomorrow.



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