Treat all flood water as contaminated in Canterbury

A number of drinking water supplies have been placed under boil water or conserve water notices as flood waters have continued to rise in many areas throughout Canterbury. It’s important to follow this advice to protect your health.

Keep up to date with the latest alerts through your local District Council – Like your local District Council’s Facebook page, or check out the latest news on their website. They have the most up to date information.

Hurunui District:


Christchurch and Banks Peninsula:



People in the Ashburton District can send a text to subscribe to updates from the Council. Simply text 7700 to 4196 to sign up.



Contaminated flood waters

Avoid contact with flood waters if you can and assume they will be contaminated by sewage.

There is also a danger of injury from floating objects and hazards hidden below the surface. If there are power outages in your area, be wary of power lines that might be down and be even more hazardous in wet conditions.

If you do come into contact with flood waters, change out of any wet clothes and shoes and put them aside to be washed later. Wash skin that has come into contact with flood waters, and wash your hands as soon as you reasonably can – or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Emergency services, hospital or health centres and appointments

Call 111 if you require emergency care as  ambulances are operating, subject to changing road conditions.

The Emergency Department at Waipapa, ambulances and Urgent Care Clinics (24hr Surgery, Moorhouse Medical Centre and Riccarton Clinic) are all open. Our rural hospitals are open for visiting and maternity services are operating as usual.

Note: All Outpatient appointments at Ashburton Hospital have been postponed on 31st May and 1st June 2021 – apart from fracture clinics. Medical day unit and chemotherapy appointments at Ashburton Hospital will also be postponed on 1st June. Individuals are being contacted wherever possible to let them know.

If you have an Outpatient appointment at any other Canterbury DHB hospital or health centre on 1st June (or while the weather disruption lasts), please assume it will go ahead unless you are contacted individually to say otherwise. If you cannot make your appointment, please let us know as soon as you can by calling the number on your appointment letter.

Food safety

Avoid opening your fridge and freezers unnecessarily if you lose power at any stage. If frozen food has been defrosted but has been kept chilled, it should be used as soon as possible – as if it had been bought fresh.

Do not refreeze high risk items such as meat, fish and poultry. If you think these food items may have been at room temperature for two or more hours, do not eat them – if in doubt, throw it out.

General health and wellbeing

Please continue to check on neighbours and vulnerable people near where you live. Check they have supplies – including medications – and share with them the advice on water and food safety.

If you need to see a GP and have trouble getting there, phone them for advice. Even if they are closed, your call will be put through to a nurse who can advise you on what to do.

In an emergency, always call 111.

If you require essential prescription medications and your supply is running low, call your normal GP of community pharmacy for advice.

Stay ready and informed

Source: Canterbury DHB media release (31st May 2021)

Published on Monday, May 31st, 2021, under Uncategorised
Page last updated: 15/06/2021

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