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Havelock North told to flush toilets

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/08/2016 Cleo Fraser

Havelock North residents will need to continue boiling drinking water for at least another three or four days, authorities say.

It was hoped a boil notice in place since the town's water supply was contaminated earlier this month would be lifted by Thursday but that has been pushed back.

Hastings District Council chief executive Ross McLeod told those at a public meeting in Havelock North on Wednesday night that more water needed to be flushed through the system.

"We are working with the Ministry of Health and other health authorities (and) they want us to have several days of clear testing of those extremities before we can lift that notice," he said.

"It's likely to be three or four more days before we can do that."

He urged local residents to lend a hand by flushing their toilets and asked those on the outskirts of town to run outdoor taps for 15 mins to help flush the system.

More than 5000 people came down with gastric illness after the town's water supply was contaminated last month.

Local businesses have also suffered because of the contamination with hotels and motels reporting cancellations and some restaurants saying trade was down by 60 per cent.

The government has launched an independent inquiry into the contamination.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council and Hastings District Council workers were on Thursday inspecting the three contaminated bores.

The bores, which are dotted along Brookvale Rd and are surrounded by farmland including mushroom and sheep farms, were found to be contained earlier this month.

A worker at the site told NZ Newswire it was a huge task trying to determine the source of the outbreak and nothing was being ruled out. That's the same message authorities gave residents at public meetings this week.

The three bores feed the town's entire water supply. Although they've been chlorinated, the boil water notice remains in place and water is being pumped into Havelock North from Hastings temporarily.

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