Boil water notice for Queenstown after people fall ill

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Boil water notice for Queenstown after people fall ill

A boil water notice has been issued for Queenstown and Frankton residents after a number of people fell ill.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) issued the notice after eight cases of a parasitic disease in neighbourhoods serviced by the council’s Queenstown supply.

Cryptosporidiosis is an illness caused by the protozoa cryptosporidium which can cause diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

QLDC property and infrastructure general manager Tony Avery said that while the source of these cases is not yet known and there is no confirmed link to the local water supply, the notice has been issued on advice from health officials.

“On the basis of advice from NPHS Southern regarding the nature of symptoms related to cryptosporidium infection and the potential speed and ease of transmission, we are issuing this notice.”

Avery said that social media reports of people living in the Queenstown suburb of Fernhill feeling unwell led the council to begin frequent monitoring on September 8.

“All results to date have been, and continue to be, normal.”

The monitoring tests for indicators of contamination via the presence of E.coli or coliform bacteria, as well as residual chlorine levels. However, the testing does not identify the presence or absence of cryptosporidium.

“Whilst there has been no result to date that indicates the local water supply has been compromised, as the supply at this location does not currently have a protozoa barrier as part of the treatment process this cannot be conclusively ruled out,” said Avery.

“In general, the potential for cryptosporidium contamination is highly unlikely. But with these cases confirmed, and to minimise others’ potential exposure to cryptosporidiosis, all residents and businesses in these areas should boil their water until further notice.”

All properties serviced by the council’s Queenstown supply including Frankton, Quail Rise, Tucker Beach Rd, Kelvin Heights and Hanley’s Farm are advised to boil all their water for at least one minute (or use bottled water) for drinking, food preparation, preparing baby formula, washing food utensils, brushing teeth, or for pets.

Avery said that the council will continue to engage with NPHS Southern and Taumata Arowai (the Drinking Water Regulator) and issue further advice as and when the situation changes.

“Anyone with related symptoms should seek medical advice.”


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