Napier residents shocked to find blackish-brown water pouring from their taps this afternoon have been reassured the water is now safe to drink.
The Napier City Council warned today the city’s water reserves could be about to run out and urged locals to use the precious liquid sparingly.
But this afternoon most couldn’t use their taps at all after it turned the colour of black coffee.
It comes days after Napier’s water tested positive for E.coli, with the council deciding to chlorinate the entire city’s supply.
Local resident Sam Love arrived home at 5pm and turned on a tap to find the brown water pouring out.
“We checked every tap and it was coming out of all of them. We had no drinking water at all so we went down to the supermarket to get bottled water. We’ve got a baby as well so it’s a bit of a hassle.”
The supermarket was full of other people also buying water, Love said – and he claimed the shop had hiked the price of bottled water from 89c to $1.10.
Angry locals posted on the Napier council’s Facebook page, saying bottled water had run out at the supermarkets.
The city council has issued a statement saying it had urgently brought two bores online this afternoon.
“This has resulted in water going through the network in different directions which in turn dislodged some sediment. This will clear quickly,” the council said.
Love said around 9pm the water had cleared up but was “a bit murky”.
“The council said it’s chlorinated but it’s fine to drink.”
He had cautiously tasted the water and said it “just tastes like chlorine – you can’t taste any mud”.
Love was frustrated that the council did not call for people to save water earlier.
“Why didn’t they tell us when the reserve was at halfway and ask people not to fill up their pools? Now it’s at a critical low mass.”
The council has implemented a level four restriction on water use, meaning no outdoor or garden water use at all for the next few days.