Community Health Services director Doctor Tereapii Uka said they have advised these schools to clean the filter of their water stations before they run another test to see whether the water is safe for children to consume.
The recent heavy downpour has increased the risk of contaminated water being supplied at the water stations as well as households.
“Our team goes out every week to check the water stations to see whether the water there is safe for the people to consume,” Dr Uka said.
“They did a test of all the water stations at the schools on Rarotonga and we found four schools which did not meet the standard. We have informed the management of those schools to do the maintenance work.
“Everyone was on holiday so the filters in these water stations at these schools may be left uncleaned for a while. Once the maintenance is completed we expect these schools to supply clean drinking water.”
Dr Uka said the water stations around the island were labelled with blue and red stickers.
Blue sticker indicate safe drinking water while the red sticker means the water at that particular station is unsafe to consume.
“The main problem at the water stations with red sign is mostly the filters. Some of the filters have been there for years and we have asked the people looking after those water stations to replace them,” Dr Uka said.
“There are also some people around who are removing the signs put up by our staff to indicate the status of a particular water station, and we want them to stop doing this.”
Dr Uka said regardless of the blue or red sign, people were urged to boil their drinking water, especially after a heavy downpour.
“As always when it rains, the water is always dirty and we remind them to boil the water before consuming. Those with filters at home, please clean the filters regularly to ensure they continue to receive clean water.”
Government minister and Tupapa MP George Maggie said he regularly cleans the public water station located in his property.
“After heavy rain I clean my water station between three and five times a day … and I change filters. I put a new one on after heavy rain and have to change two or three times a day,” Maggie said.
“I clean the water filter because I want to check if the water filter is not dirty. It needs to be clean all the time.
“It’s the same the next day and until everything is clean.”