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TasWater ‘soul-searching’ over handling of E. coli water contamination in Wynyard
TasWater lifted its boil-before-drinking alert on Monday after tests revealed the town’s drinking water was now clear of the bacteria.
The advice had been in place since New Year’s Eve but some residents complained that they were not notified by mail until five days later.
TasWater operations manager Glen Jameson told ABC Northern Tasmania they used social media, radio and hand-delivered letters to alert almost 300 hundred residents.
However, he said there were lessons to be learnt.
“People are entitled to be emotional when there is a lack of water, a lack of amenity in their community and that really is the one key learning, how we do better in that space,” he said.
“For example we moved the water trailer up there just after [the] new year so people could get fresh water available there, but we probably could have done that earlier.
“There are bits and pieces we could have done better.
“This is a problem that causes deep distress in communities and we recognise that.”
Mr Jameson said the matter will be examined closely, including an incident review over the next few days.
“[We will] do a bit of soul searching about the way we communicated and the way we apply our engineering and science skills to what is a community issue.”
Local Government Association chief executive Katrena Stephenson said TasWater may need to better tailor how it communicated with different towns.
“There’s definitely a difference between how you communicate with a highly urbanised area and a rural/regional area,” she said.
She suggested more use of local radio and possibly text messages for serious incidents in the future.
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Published by ABC News.