Friday, 29 September 2023

QLDC Announces Crypto Water Treatment Plan and Test Results

QLDC has successfully secured treatment solutions to address the current Queenstown-based outbreak of cryptosporidiosis.

Qldc Boil Water Notice Web News Updates 6 Sep23

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has successfully secured treatment solutions to address the current Queenstown-based outbreak of cryptosporidiosis and can now advise the plan ahead said Mayor Glyn Lewers. 

“Following the issuing of a boil water notice on Monday, 18 September and subsequent compliance order from Taumata Arowai, Council has been working to identify and secure possible solutions to address the potential presence of cryptosporidium in the Queenstown water supply. Having asked for a plan by the end of this week, I am pleased to confirm that plan is now in place and we can start to provide more clarity about what the solution looks like and when we may be able to lift the boil water notice.”

QLDC has secured UV disinfection equipment, an effective barrier treatment against cryptosporidium, for the Two Mile water treatment plant which supplies the Queenstown network and is the first step in effective treatment for other non-compliant supplies in the district.

QLDC General Manager Property & Infrastructure Tony Avery advised that the first step is to install the UV treatment at Two Mile but due to a lack of availability of ideally sized equipment the first intervention will be a temporary solution to address the immediate need and respond to the compliance order.

“This temporary solution will do what we need in the short term but larger UV reactors, which have also now been ordered, are required long term. Once the larger equipment arrives, we will swap out the temporary systems for use elsewhere in the district. This approach, and taking this opportunity to secure other units, means that we are able to promptly implement UV treatment not only at Two Mile but also water supplies at Western Wānaka, Beacon Point in Wānaka, and Luggate,” added Mr Avery.

The timeframe for implementing the temporary UV treatment has a currently estimated completion date of 8 December. That ten-week programme included undertaking detailed design, procurement of the component parts and fabrication of the container housing for the equipment, delivery, site connection and commissioning, and flushing of the network. Further details of the full programme, including the timeline for installing the larger UV reactors at Two Mile will be provided next week.

Mr Avery also advised that at the start of this week, QLDC submitted a plan to Taumata Arowai to isolate the Kelvin Heights water supply network, which already has effective barrier treatment against protozoa such as cryptosporidium, from the Two Mile network. QLDC is working hard to see normal service returned as quickly as possible and working with Taumata Arowai QLDC is targeting to lift that before the end of the school holidays

“While we know people will be looking for more detailed steps, which we will be providing soon, we wanted to provide an indication of the timeline to resolve the current situation as soon as we had that date,” said Mr Avery.

Mayor Lewers added that he was personally frustrated with the Kelvin Heights boil water notice in particular remaining in place any longer.

QLDC is continuing to work with Taumata Arowai to explore options that would enable the boil water notice to be lifted in the remainder of the Queenstown water supply network as soon as possible and well ahead of the 8 December. 

Testing of the water supply in the affected area continued to return negative results for the presence of cryptosporidium or other signs of contamination. The extensive sampling and testing programme is ongoing.

“Although Te Whatu Ora is reporting a steady increase in cases of cryptosporidiosis, these can all be linked back to the original outbreak. However, the source still has not been identified and we need to reinforce for now the need for people to adhere to the requirements of the boil water notice but increasingly the indicators point to their being no current contamination issue which is why we are pushing to lift the boil water notice in its entirety as soon as possible.”

Yesterday (Thursday 29 September), Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern advised a number of cases had been identified as secondary infections of cryptosporidiosis, meaning people who have been infected from people they live or work with.

Advice from Te Whatu Ora to minimise the risk of secondary infection is as follows:

  • Wash your hands with lots of soap and water for at least 20 seconds and then dry them thoroughly on a clean towel.

  • Do not rely on hand sanitizer as this is not effective against cryptosporidium.

  • If someone in your household has cryptosporidiosis, ensure all surfaces, including door handles, are cleaned regularly with a cleaning product that contains hydrogen peroxide. Chlorine based products do not work against cryptosporidium and bleach-based products are not as effective.

QLDC will continue to provide ongoing messaging about the boil water notice and share relevant health advice from Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern.


Media contact: or call 03 441 1802.

FURTHER INFORMATION | Kā pāroko tāpiri:

Feedback opportunity

QLDC is inviting feedback from residents and businesses in the affected area on their understanding of the boil water notice and to suggest ways of engaging and other information needs. Anyone interesting in providing this is welcome to do so via

General information about how to stop the spread of cryptosporidium and what to do if you have symptoms provided by NPHS Southern:

The best thing you and your whānau can do to stop the spread of cryptosporidium (crypto) infection is to practise good hand hygiene. This means scrubbing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them thoroughly with a clean towel:

  • After using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or helping others use the bathroom

  • Before eating or cooking

  • After handling an animal

  • After gardening, even if you used gloves

  • When caring for someone with diarrhoea

Other ways to help stop the spread of cryptosporidium infection are:

  • Stay home or keep young children home when you or they have an active case of diarrhoea

  • Don’t drink untreated water

  • Clean all surfaces, including door handles, regularly with a cleaning product that contains hydrogen peroxide. Chlorine based products do not work against cryptosporidium and bleach based products are not as effective.

  • Shower before using recreational swimming facilities to wash away any potential Cryptosporidium organisms on your body.

  • Don’t swallow pool water or spa pool water.

  • Wash all produce before eating it. Peeling the skins will also reduce your risk.

  • Take young children at the pool to the bathroom frequently.

  • Change children’s diapers often.

  • Stay clear of the water if you or your children have diarrhoea. Stay out of the water for a full two weeks after the diarrhoea subsides.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you live or work in the Queenstown area, currently are visiting or have visited since 18 August and are experiencing these symptoms, please call your family doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice from a registered nurse 24 hours a day 7 days a week.