Permanent chlorination of drinking water in Hurunui district

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By Robyn Bristow

All council water supplies in the Hurunui district are to be permanently chlorinated.

The Hurunui District Council announced its decision today saying chlorination of the water supplies was to ensure “consistently safe drinking water to all residents and visitors”.

It says supplying clean and safe drinking water that complies with the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards is a core responsibility for the council.

“Over the past year there have been a number of E.coli transgressions in Hurunui which have had the potential to adversely impact residents’ health.

“If a contamination outbreak occurred, it would be extremely damaging, not just to local residents but also to visitors and tourists,” the council says.

Amberley township, Amberley Beach, Leithfield Beach and Hanmer Springs have had their water supplies temporarily chlorinated over the last six months and this will now become permanent.

Leithfield Village and other residents connected to the Leithfield supply, along with Culverden, Hawarden/Waikari and residents connected to the Racecourse bore will have their water supply chlorinated from September, on a rolling basis.

Hurunui District Council infrastructure services delivery manager Dan Harris says that permanent chlorination of all council provided water supplies is the best option to ensure public health and safety.

“Following a number of transgressions entering through the pipelines over the last few years we decided that permanent chlorination is the best solution. This ensures a safe supply from the intake point, right through the pipes to the taps.

“Dosage rates will differ depending on the supply. Our aim is to keep chlorine levels as low as possible while meeting the drinking water standards.

Odour and taste concerns generally arose at 0.6 – 1.0mg per litre.

“Our rate will be around 0.3mg per litre, which is much lower than the maximum allowable level of 5mg per litre.

“When the chlorine is first added the taste will be more noticeable, however this will reduce over time.

“We understand that some residents will have issues with permanent chlorination of our water supplies, however this is the best solution to ensure that we are providing safe and clean water to our community,” he says.