Bird may have tainted water

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A bird is the most likely cause of the contamination in Richmond’s new water treatment plant that resulted in the water being chlorinated and the Tasman District Council issuing a warning to Richmond residents to boil their water.
The plant’s emergency chlorination system was activated last Thursday after low levels of the bacteria E coli were discovered in the water. Council also issued a boil water notice to Richmond households as a precautionary measure after consultation with Nelson Marlborough District Health Board Public Health Service.
The notice was lifted on Sunday but council communications manager Chris Choat says the water will continue to be chlorinated until the source of the contamination is identified and the problem is resolved. Although the plant and tanks are sealed, Chris says it is likely that the contamination was caused by a bird or possibly another animal getting into the treatment plant.
He says engineers are presently emptying a water tank to find the source of the contamination.
The new water treatment plant on Lower Queen St is still in a commissioning phase but has been providing water to Richmond in a trial operation period for the last two months. The trial period is expected to finish in August.