New Report shows Waimakariri Drinking Water Quality Continues to Improve

A first of its kind report by Waimakariri District Council has taken a holistic look at all Council-supplied drinking water – and the news is good.

The report looks at a number of metrics for how to measure water quality and notes that all thirteen schemes met Health Act requirements and work is underway so all meet Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand.

The Health Act requires that Council ensure and supply safe drinking water.

Full details of the report show:

  • All treatment plants meet the bacterial requirements of the Drinking-water Standards
  • 11 out of 13 schemes meet the bacterial requirements of Drinking-water Standards for their distribution zones (the two that don’t have were due to some missed samples, with this issue now rectified)
  • All meet the chemical property requirements
  • No E.coli was detected across any of the schemes for the past compliance year
  • Eight out of 13 met the protozoal requirements. Investment is planned to bring this to fully compliant within the coming financial year.

The report follows a significant decade of investment in water quality since Drinking-water Standards were revised in 2008. Each year work has been undertaken which improves reliability and water quality.

This clean bill of health follows a significant series of testing throughout the past year so there is enough data to clearly measure fluctuations in quality and make sure residents can be confident the water they are drinking is clean and safe for the future.

Council’s Manager of Utilities and Roading Gerard Cleary says the result shows that investment in previous years in drinking water infrastructure is starting to pay off.

“As a Council we are responsible for making sure the water we supply is clean and safe and it’s a responsibility we take very seriously.”

“In the last few years we have had a strong focus on making sure the water we supply is safe and sources of water are resilient across the District – this includes joining water schemes, commissioning new schemes and we are working to bring in Ultra-violet (UV) treatment for all schemes (subject to anticipated increased treatment requirements) in the coming years among other more basic upgrades.”

The Council maintains water safety plans for all connected schemes to manage the safety and identify and plan for scheme upgrades, as required by the Health Act.

While good progress is being made in meeting current requirements, there is some uncertainty about what the future may hold. The government recently announce a new regulator is being created which will impose stricter requirements regarding drinking-water.

However, until new requirements are clearer the Council plans to continue investment in improvements to Waimakariri water supply.