Our rural water schemes and your health All users of water supplied by Council in the Matatoki, Puriri, Omahu, Wharepoa, and Hikutaia areas are reminded that the water may contain parasites, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidia. These parasites are carried by many animals, such as birds, rodents, dogs, sheep and cattle and can cause illness in humans if ingested. In addition to the risk of the water containing these parasitic organisms, the water is also likely to contain pathogenic bacteria, which can also cause illness. Minimise the risks The risks from both the parasitic organisms and the bacteria can be minimised (and in most instances completely removed) by the installation of filters, to remove parasites and an ultra-violet sterilising unit, to destroy any pathogenic bacteria present in the water. If you do not have this type of treatment installed and operating at your property then you should not drink the water without it first being boiled for at least three minutes. This will effectively destroy both parasites and bacteria. Untreated water should not be used for washing salads and fruit etc, as these foods can be contaminated by the water and will not receive any further heat treatment before being eaten. The untreated water should also not be used for teeth cleaning due to the risk of ingestion. Boiled and cooled water should be used for both food washing and teeth cleaning purposes. Reminders TCDC sends frequent reminders to all consumers on these supplies that the water is not potable, and is not intended to be consumed in its untreated state. If you have any queries regarding these supplies, or would like clarification on any point, then please do not hesitate to contact us.