You have to give the ODT some credit. It is relentlessly woke on the editorial page, but it does report what is happening locally. The Otago Regional Council is trying to work out if the source water for the areas where there has been lead contamination in the water are affected, and to date it looks like they are not.
The Otago Regional Council reported today initial samples taken from the Waikouaiti River show no signs of lead contamination.
Samples were taken of river water upstream and downstream of the intake for the Waikouaiti raw water reservoir on the morning of February 4.
“Lead was below detectable levels in both of the water samples.”
ORC chief executive Sarah Gardner said the two samples were useful and would help the council direct its investigation.
“We will continue to investigate because it is absolutely imperative that we deliver an answer about the river water that can be trusted by the impacted communities.
“ORC and the DCC are collaborating on a wide-ranging catchment study of the Waikouaiti River, including water and sediment sampling. The results of this week’s sediment sampling are likely next week, with additional monitoring to be undertaken in the meantime,” Mrs Gardner said.
Otago Daily Times
They are appropriately cautious. Below the intake the responsibility lies with the Dunedin City Council. Less of which said the better.
The Dunedin City Council will not start to review its own processes in relation to the lead contamination of drinking water at three East Otago towns until after the Ministry of Health’s review is done next month.
On Tuesday, the ministry announced it would undertake a rapid review of the public health response to the water supply issue, which came to light last week.
Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said in an email statement last night the council’s review of processes at its end would be informed by the ministry’s findings, expected at the end of March.
The council’s review would be done by an independent reviewer and specific details would be made public in due course.
“In the meantime, our focus remains on identifying the source of the issue, ensuring that safe drinking water is available to affected residents, and supporting our community’s wellbeing through this difficult period.”
Daily water sampling was continuing and results would be released in batches every three to four days.
Otago Daily Times
I normally don’t agree with Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury. But here is is correct. Our leadership is no longer monitoring what they need to (Lead, Mercury) and instead chasing things that are very hard to quantify, such as levels of Carbon emitted or the offense from plain speech. The Amberley tyre pile was a known fire hazard and no one did the practical things.
The bewildering incompetence of the Dunedin lead water poisoning and Amberley tyre fire highlights the need for us as New Zealanders to undergo a desperately needed mindset change.
We are not a Country, we are an Island.
The Amberley tyre fire was warned about for four years before the inevitable erupted and Dunedin has lead levels twice that of the infamous Flint, Michigan water poisoning.
How and why?
The how is being investigated, but the why seems very obvious.
We are under the false impression that we are a country.
A country envisions levels of bureaucratic competence that NZ no longer has. 35 years of neoliberal underfunding has left no capacity for oversight which is why a mountain of tyres can catch fire and a City has higher lead levels than the worst example in America.
We need to see ourselves as Island.
An Island mindset demands a level of self sufficiency coupled with sustainability that ignores the false pretence of bureaucratic competence and demands a local ownership that doesn’t shit in its own nest.
No one is held accountable for the tyre fire and no one will be held accountable for the lead poisoning, our faith in the oversight of incompetent, poorly funded and toothless bureaucrats is terribly misplaced.
We are not a country, we are an Island.
Note that Bomber is a Green socialist. He is not of the right wing. He is rabidly progressive. IF a green mayor is called incompetent by a green activist, then you know something is wrong.
There is a suggestion out there that the problem is not the water going into the pipes, it is the 100 year old pipes themselves. In which case, fix the problem then sort out the processes.
I’m still going to put filters in at home and not drink tap water.