First blood test results returned for residents at the centre of Otago lead water scare

There's some positive news for residents in Waikouaiti and Karitane, the Otago towns at the centre of a lead water scare.

The first blood test results from residents have shown safe and normal levels of lead in their bodies

Last Wednesday the town's water supply was found to contain traces of lead 40-times the acceptable level. 

Fresh samples were taken from the Waikouaiti River, the water supply for the towns of Waikouaiti, Karitane, and Hawkesbury, came up clean this Thursday, showing no indication of lead contamination.

Otago Regional Council CEO Sarah Gardner says while it's positive news there's still "a long way to go."

The Otago Regional Council took the samples a week ago both upstream and downstream of the raw water reservoir intake.

The lead was below detectable levels in both water supplies.

Blood tests conducted privately last week saw welcome relief for many residents including new parents, Rachel and Richard Olsen who were "very happy" to get "reassurance."

East Otago Health says the first 32 blood tests have returned normal results with all below the accepted safe blood lead levels.

MPI has advised it's safe to eat fruit and vegetables grown in the area, although residents are encouraged to wash produce in alternative sources of water.

The Southern DHB's blood testing clinics continue, with one added in Karitane on Thursday afternoon. 

All those results will be collated and analysed by the DHB with plans to report back at another public meeting later this month.