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Why disinfect our water? We answer some frequently asked questions

Updated: May 23, 2019



Q: Why should we disinfect when we’ve been drinking our water without a problem for years? A: While we don’t currently monitor for illnesses that may be caused by our water supply, the Ministry of Health has become increasingly concerned with the poor results of their regular water safety surveillance tests. Water that is not potable could cause a waterborne disease outbreak.


Q: What does ‘potable’ mean?

A: ‘Potable water’ means water that’s been demonstrated to be safe for drinking, and meets established drinking water standards. Potable water is also safe to use for food preparation, personal bathing etc.


Q: What standards are you using to judge whether water is safe or not?

A: The Cook Islands Ministry of Health has recently prepared a Drinking Water Standard which is based on World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for drinking water quality. It is similar to the standards used in other Pacific countries including Tahiti and Fiji.


Q: Why should we trust the PMU’s advice on this?

A: The PMU engineers responsible for reviewing and assessing disinfection options for Rarotonga have over 40 years’ experience on similar projects in the Pacific, New Zealand and further afield. We are confident they are suitably qualified to provide the Cook Islands Government and public with advice on the most suitable option.

Q: Will the Government introduce tariffs to pay for disinfection?

A: The Government has confirmed it is planning to introduce a water tariff to help fund essential infrastructure and encourage responsible water use.

U: Eaa tatou ka tavairakau ei i to tatou vai ina, kua inu ua ana tatou i to tatou vai ma te kore roa e manamanata?

P: Noatu oki e kare tatou e rave ana i te akarakara’anga no runga i tetai au maki e penei e na to tatou vai e akatupu ana, te manamanata nei ra te Marae Ora ite turanga meitaki kore ote vai e kite’ia mai nei i roto i ta ratou akarakara’anga i te au tuatau. Ko te vai kare e tau meitaki ana te turanga, ka riro te reira ite akatupu mai i tetai au maki’anga maata.


U: Eaa te aite’anga o te vai tau meitaki tikai?

P: Ko te aite’anga o te vai tau meitaki tikai, koia oki ko te vai tei kite’ia mai e ka meitaki i te inu e pera kua taeria te turanga tei akonoonoo’ia note vai meitaki tikai ite inu. Ko te vai tau meitaki tikai, ka meitaki katoa teia no te ropi’anga kai e pera katoa no te pa’i, e te vai atura.


U: Eaa te turanga e apai nei kotou no te vaito’anga e me te meitaki nei te vai me kare?

P: Kua rauka i te Marae Ora i te akapapa i tetai Kaveinga no runga ite turanga ote vai inu ka anoano’ia no te Kuki Airani e kua akatinamou’ia teia ki runga ite Kaveinga ate Taokotai’anga World Health Organisation (WHO). Kua aite te turanga o teia Kaveinga e ta’anga’anga’ia nei ki to tetai au enua i te Patifika nei mei ia Tahiti e Viti.


U: Eaa ra tatou ka irinaki atu ei i te au akakite’anga a te PMU?

P: Ko te au aronga kite pakari o te tu’anga ‘anga’anga PMU e riro nei e na ratou teia ‘anga’anga i te akarakara i te au ravenga tavairakau’anga i te vai o Rarotonga nei, kua tere atu mei te 40 mataiti to ratou ‘anga’anga ‘anga ki roto i teia au tu’anga ‘anga’anga i roto nei ite Patifika, Nu Tireni e pera te au enua mamaata i tai mai. Kua papu tikai ia matou e kua rauka to ratou kite, pakari ete marama note oronga mai kite Kavamani ote Kuki Airani nei e pera kite iti tangata ite au manako tau ete puapinga tikai no runga ite ravenga ka tano meitaki.

U: Ka tuku ainei te Kavamani i tetai moni tutaki’anga ki runga ite iti tangata no teia tavairakau’anga?

P: Kua akapapu mai te Kavamani e te parani nei ratou no te tuku atu i tetai moni tutaki’anga no te tauturu ite ta’anga’anga ete akono meitaki’anga ite au tu’anga ote vai e pera katoa ka riro teia ite akamaroiroi atu i te iti tangata auraka kia kaimoumou ite vai.

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