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Pacific News Minute: A New Zealand port city deals with a different kind of contaminated water


Many Pearl Harbor area residents are continuing to deal with exposure to contaminated water. At a port city in New Zealand, residents are dealing with a different kind of contamination when it comes to drinking water.

Timaru is located on the eastern coast of the country’s South Island.

Newshub reports that residents are seeing brown and yellow water coming from their taps. They say it’s been happening since mid-December.

It’s summertime now in New Zealand, when people are usually drinking more water.

The Timaru District Council says the water is totally safe to drink and is reassuring residents that chlorine is doing the job.

A council member says algae is going through the water treatment process and acquiring a color as it is being removed. He says the algae is harmless, but residents aren’t happy about it.

One person says the water is sometimes a dark yellow color and it smells.

Meanwhile, three tankers have been set up around town for residents to collect fresh drinking water. They’re also being asked to limit their water usage and hold off from watering lawns to ease the load on the network.

The Council believes the source of the algae came from a secondary reservoir and has temporarily switched it off. It’s currently waiting for results from lab testing of the water to prove its theory.

Derrick Malama is the local anchor of Morning Edition.
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