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The government has announced changes to New Zealand’s affordable water reforms by agreeing to establish 10 new regionally-led entities.

Residents urged to check their water supply 

Te Whatu Ora Public Health Unit for Waikato is urging residents to check their supply of drinking water following recent weather events.

The organisation said water could be compromised if residents’ water was supplied by water tanks, streams, springs or roofs.

“If you store your drinking water in a tank, it is important that you check for any foreign matters that may have been drawn into the tank and are potentially contaminating the water within the tank,” the health authority said.

“If you collect drinking water from your roof, you will need to check the gutters for any leaves and other material that may have become lodged in the spouting.

“If you source your water from a stream or spring please be aware that this source may be very contaminated at the moment, so ensuring that you have an adequate form of treatment in place is absolutely essential for the health of you and your family.”

Te Whatu Ora said residents should use appropriate materials to ensure their water is safe. 

“To disinfect your tank use household plain bleach… leave untouched for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to work,” Te Whatu Ora said.

“All spouting needs to be clean and the roof itself checked for any debris, sediment or animal excrement. 

“We do recommend using a first flush divider, this to remove the initial contaminates before they go into your tank.”

Te Whatu Ora also advised that residents should also change their filters as they may have become blocked by material, lessening its ability to protect the water supply.

“All other forms of treatment as ultraviolet disinfection lights will potentially need the bulb cleaned or even replaced, to ensure it does what it is supposed to do,” Te Whatu Ora said.

“Safe drinking water is vital for the good health of you and your family and the people who visit your home. 

“Water used for drinking, teeth cleaning, hand washing, bathing, showering, food preparation, and cooking needs to be free from harmful germs and chemicals.”