Tests of the drinking water in two small Otago coastal towns have shown levels of lead up to 40 times higher than the acceptable limits.
Residents of Waikouaiti and Karitane have been told not to use their tap water to drink, cook or prepare food.
Elevated levels of lead were detected as far back as August 2020. With residents furious not to have been advised then.
The Otago Daily Times summarises:
- Waikouaiti-Karitane water tested 90 times since July 2020.
- Six tests show elevated lead levels.
- First test results showing elevated lead levels in August.
- Elevated lead levels at Waikouaiti Golf Club (4 times), Karitane Bowls Club (1), Waikouaiti raw water reservoir (1).
- No-drink notice issued Feb 2 (after reservoir test result received Jan 29).
- Two test results emailed to DCC on Dec 18 not opened until Jan 7.
- DCC changes email procedures.
- Free blood tests for affected residents next week
- Public meeting at East Otago Events Centre, Friday 7pm.
What are the Symptoms of Lead Poisoning?
The Ministry of Health states:
“Some people will develop health problems or lead poisoning if they are exposed to enough lead. If untreated, lead poisoning can be serious.”
In young children:
“Contact with low levels of lead does not cause any obvious illness. However, if untreated, low blood lead levels can affect the developing brain and may impair young children’s development and later performance at school.
High levels of lead can cause symptoms such as:
- stomach pains
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite.
In Adults the early stages of lead poisoning are non-specific and affect the gastrointestinal and nervous systems.
“Symptoms of lead poisoning that affects the nervous system can include:
- mood changes (such as depression or irritability)
- memory impairment
- sleep disturbance
- tingling and numbness in fingers and hands.
Symptoms of lead poisoning that affects the stomach and intestine can include:
- lack of appetite
- stomach pains
- weight loss.
In later stages, symptoms may develop in the blood, kidneys, bones, heart and reproductive systems and may, in extreme cases, cause death.
How to Remove Lead from Drinking Water
Lead can be effectively removed from drinking water with a Berkey purification system.
Tests of the Berkey elements used in all Berkey purification systems have shown they remove at least 99% of all lead in drinking water samples. Source.
Berkey water purifiers are gravity fed water purification systems. They require no power or plumbing, but simply sit on your bench top and give you pure, natural drinking water.
You can learn more about Berkey Filtration and Purification Systems here.
Other Benefits of Berkey Water Filtration and Purification Systems
Berkey systems also remove a whole host of other toxins and impurities which are often found in town supply water, bore water and even rain water.
- Other Heavy Metals
- E. Coli
- Cryptosporidium & Giardia
- and more
Here is a full list of the many substances that tests have shown Berkey’s are capable have removing. Along with the laboratory test results.
Plus with an added extra filter element they can remove arsenic and fluoride too.
So rather than relying upon the testing (and then also the timely reporting) of your local council, consider getting a gravity fed water purifier by Berkey. Then you can rest easy knowing your family is consuming great tasting pure water.