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Kapiti’s borewater supply endorsed

27 January 2006

Kapiti’s borewater supply endorsed

Kapiti Coast District Council’s use of its supplementary groundwater supply from the Waikanae borefield is supported by the region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Stephen Palmer.

Dr Palmer says the levels of calcium, sodium and chloride are a little higher than we would normally prefer but is still below the maximum levels set in the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards. The level of calcium is sufficiently high to affect the taste of the water, however, it is still safe to drink. The amount of calcium in a glass of borewater is about 30 times lower than the amount of calcium in one glass of milk.

The council’s Water Treatment Manager Manfredo Hintze says changing over to the borewater was essential when the level of highly toxic blue-green algae in the Waikanae River increased and the river neared the minimum flow rate at which the Council consent allows water to be taken.

“Tests around January 9 and 10 showed increased levels of blue-green algae cells in the water. Having the supplementary borewater supply meant we did not have to take the risk of anyone being affected by the toxins in the water, so we went totally on to the bores.

“It’s likely that the rain last week and yesterday has flushed out the algae and it has obviously raised the level of the river. We’ve taken samples and they are being tested. The tests will take about a week.

“We’re hopeful that by Wednesday of next week w’ll be able to go back to using the river water,” Mr Hintze said.

At the first meeting of the Council for 2006 today, councillors urged staff to continue to seek ways to improve the taste and chemical composition of the borewater but agreed that without the supplementary supply being available this year, the situation would have been a great deal worse for residents.

ENDS

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