Health ministry clarifies water testing issue

Tuesday January 10, 2017 Written by Published in Health
Tiaon Ariu points to the label placed by the Ministry of Health water department at a water station in Tupapa Maraerenga near MP George Maggie’s residence. The blue sign indicates the water station is supplying clean and safe drinking water. 17010911 Tiaon Ariu points to the label placed by the Ministry of Health water department at a water station in Tupapa Maraerenga near MP George Maggie’s residence. The blue sign indicates the water station is supplying clean and safe drinking water. 17010911

The MINISTRY of Health has clarified questions over the testing of water quality at water stations around Rarotonga.

 

A concerned citizen raised the issue on the Rarotonga Community and Beyond Facebook page, saying there was no date on the blue signs displayed at water stations to indicate when the water was last tested.

Health protection manager Tata Vaeau said ministry staff do tests at water stations once every three months.

The first test for the year would be completed later this week, he said.

“The blue sign indicates that the water is safe within the testing time period which is every three months.”

“After three months, we come back and test the quality of the water again. We also conduct testing after heavy downpours to ensure water quality is not compromised.”

Vaeau said water stations that did not meet standards received a red label.

“There were some that did not pass the test (last time) and that’s when the red sign goes up.

“The red sign means the water is contaminated. Once we put up the red sign, we also advise management to clean their water station and notify us. We then retest the water and see if it’s fit enough for the blue sign.”

Vaeau said ministry staff were concerned that in some cases, red notices were being removed before contaminated water was re-tested.

He is asking people to use the water stations with blue signs if the regular ones they use still have red stickers.

“We encourage the public not to remove the red notices because it will confuse people. If we find the water is safe after retesting then we will remove the red notice ourselves and replace it with a blue sign,” Vaeau said.

“Otherwise, we encourage public to boil the water they take from the stations with red signs or better still, use stations which carry blue signs.”

Vaeau said there were about 30 water stations on Rarotonga.

They are located at various centres around the island including schools, religious buildings, hostels and sporting clubs.

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