PH levels in Western Bay back to normal

A Maketu woman received a rash after a shower due to the water containing high pH levels. File photo.

PH levels in the Western Bay of Pleny water supply is now back to normal, says the Western Bay District Council.

Flushing and testing of the Council water supply has confirmed all drinking water in Pongakawa and Paengaroa is back within the recommended pH levels from NZ drinking water standards.

“However, as per yesterday's advice, if you are in the area (the problem is isolated to the Wilson Road South in Paengaroa and Arawa Road in Pongakawa areas) where an issue was reported or if you are unsure, then you should flush your taps for ten minutes to ensure you have fresh water in your system,” says a statement from the council.

“If you have any issues please contact council.”

Monday evening's issue is thought to have been caused by a section of water main line that had not been active for a period of time being brought back on line without adequate flushing.

This led to a body of water with higher than normal pH entering the main system affecting some properties in the Paengaroa and Pongakawa areas.

“Contractors and staff worked overnight on Monday and through Tuesday to flush this water and test the eastern water system.

“They also visited properties to manually flush individual water supplies, advise residents and provide bottled water.”

During this time Council received 20 calls from residents near Wilson Road South and Arawa Road who had noticed changes to their water.

A handful of residents reported skin reactions such as rashes and feeling burning sensations, while others reported having sore stomachs and puffy eyes or that the water felt slimy.

“Both manual and electronic testing has been conducted which shows water pH levels are back to normal.

“Council will continue to closely monitor the situation over the coming days.”

A similar situation occurred back in March when a Maketu woman received a rash after a shower.

The pain she described as ‘bearable' for an adult.

“If this happened to a baby or a small child, it could have been quite different,” she said back in March

She took a water sample along with her and her doctor found it had a pH reading of 9.


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