Water flows again for gastro-inflicted Havelock North


Havelock North's water supply is being fed from a local bore for the first time since last year's contamination crisis.

Bore 3 began operating today after being given the all clear by authorities following the installation of a UV filter.

In August about 5500 - a third of the town's population - were struck down with gastro following a campylobacter outbreak at Bore 1 which sits on the same road. That bore is no longer operating.

Three deaths were also linked to the outbreak and three more contracted Guillain Barre Syndrome, a serious neurological disorder.

Until today, the town's water supply has been pumped in from Hastings since the outbreak.

"The message now is the worst is behind us. We've now restored the capacity for pumping enough water," Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule told Newshub.

The Joint Working Group and government inquiry panel have approved the treatment process at Bore 3 (which hasn't been operating since 2015) and monitoring is on-going. 

Water restrictions in place - banning the use of hoses during certain hours - are expected to be lifted within the next week.

All drinking water in the area is now being chlorinated and the water supply is being tested daily for e-Coli. 

Mr Yule said switching the Havelock North supply to Hastings is one long-term plan being considered. The council has also proposed spending $12 million on installing UV plants at the Hastings bores. 

A government inquiry looking into the contamination was told earlier this year that the likely cause was sheep faeces getting into Bore 1 via a nearby pond. 

It was also revealed many elderly are still suffering six months after the outbreak, although the exact number of people affected isn't yet known.

The inquiry will report back to the government by the end of the month.