The New Zealand Ministry of Health has revealed that 712,000 New Zealanders drank water that was substandard or untested in 207-08. These are the findings of the ministry's annual review of drinking water available in the country.
The number of areas that complied with the stricter standards in Tasman district increased from 59 per cent in 2006-07 to 82 per cent in 2007-08.
"It's not that the water quality is worse; it just means we are trying to meet new standards that the ministry are imposing," said Tasman District Council utility asset engineer Kim Arnold. "You can take a sample that does not have a bug in it, but that does not mean there is no bug in there. It is a good guide but it needs to be understood."
Some areas that returned E coli and lead in the drinking water included Hope and Brightwater, while some schools like Central Takaka School, Lake Rotoiti School and St Peter Chanel School did not have testing measures in place at all.