Do you drink water from a bore at Waikawa Beach? If so, you might be interested in a new free mail-in service to test that water for nitrate contamination. (This service is not for those who collect and drink rainwater.)
Greenpeace senior campaigner Steve Abel says, “Everybody should be able to trust that their tap water is safe to drink. Unfortunately, intensive dairying is causing a spike in nitrate levels in drinking water, due to too much synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and too much cow urine seeping off the land into groundwater.
“People using water from private bores — mostly in rural areas — usually have to pay the cost of nitrate testing themselves. The success of our free in-person testing days shows how important this service is for people concerned about nitrate contamination in their drinking water.
“We are pleased to be able to offer mail-in water testing for people. Not only will this help inform bore owners, but with their consent, the data will be shared confidentially with researchers at Otago University. These findings will thereby contribute to much-needed local understanding of nitrate contamination of groundwater.”
“Over 50% of New Zealanders rely on groundwater for their drinking water supply. …
A 2018 scientific study showed a significant increase in risk of bowel cancer at concentrations as low as 0.87mg/L of nitrate contamination in drinking water. Studies have shown that at 5mg/L of nitrate contamination, the risk of premature birth increases by almost 50%.
People interested in having their bore-sourced drinking water tested can order a free testing kit online.
If you do get your bore water tested, WBRA would be interested to know the results. Many people here use bore water not for drinking but for watering the garden and the like.