NZ Council Issues Safety Warning on Drinking Water

crystal clear water coming out of faucet
The Dunedin City Council in New Zealand advised residents to drink only boiled tap water due to a recent issue in the city’s water system.

A safety advisory noted that the problem stemmed from the abandoned Ross Creek reservoir, where water accidentally seeped into the public system. In the meantime, the city council said that residents should boil water first if they are unable to use alternative sources from other water storage facilities.

Health Risks

On Aug. 15, the council notified households of the issue after a staff member unknowingly released water from the Ross Creek by opening a valve. The action was for reducing the reservoir’s water level following recent heavy rainfall.

The situation has affected more than 1,700 homes and 826 commercial properties in the city. As a precaution, the Dunedin Hospital has prepared for accommodating patients that would complain of diarrhoea.

In Otago University, the government also distributed a safety warning to teachers and students against drinking tap water in the campus. Dental clinics in the city have also ceased to treat patients until the issue’s resolution.

Safety Tips

If you live in an affected area, you should let tap water run for at least 10 minutes before boiling it. Those who shower or take a bath should be extra careful not to swallow water as well. It is best to disconnect appliances that connect to your home’s plumbing system.

You should do the same for water tanks connected to the city’s public water system. Residents can also visit several water tankers located in different areas for additional water supply. You can also have a water storage tank installed by a reliable supplier such as Devan Plastics.


During instances of short-term water problems, households should have a backup system for drinking water. Storage equipment for private use serves as an ideal option for such emergencies.