Residents of Waikouaiti, a town in New Zealand's South Island have been told their tap water contains lead and is not fit to drink or use for cooking.&nbsp;Reported levels of lead are 40 times the recommended level for safe use by humans.<br><br>Sources state the local council first detected excessive lead levels in water supplies in August 2020. Apparently these results were considered to be an isolated spike in the readings (safe lower levels were recorded in the next 3 months or so). More high levels were recorded in December 2020 and on 20 January 2021.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>A public meeting on the issue drew many concerned citizens who questioned whether the council had acted quickly enough. Official responses said the December result was passed on by email to a council staff member who was on holiday and the message was not read immediately.&nbsp; The council but did not advise residents until early February 2021.<br><br>A possible source for the contamination is the lead pipes used to convey water supplies to the town, although that is yet to be confirmed. Comparisons are being drawn with the water contamination that occurred in Flint, Michigan.<br><br>Such are the times in which we live.<br><br><br><br>&nbsp;