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QLDC to chlorinate all community water supplies over summer

QLDC to chlorinate all community water supplies over summer

Queenstown Lakes District Council will begin proactive disinfection of all community water supplies under its control by the end of next week.

This will see the water supplies in Glenorchy, Arthurs Point, Luggate and Glendhu Bay commence chlorination over the busy summer period. Wanaka and Queenstown’s water is already permanently chlorinated, while Arrowtown and Hawea remain under temporary chlorination after high coliform counts were detected in their supplies earlier this year.

QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen explains this is being done to protect residents and visitors at a time when the water system is under increased pressure. “The proactive chlorination of these supplies is being done to ensure the water remains safe to drink across the district while the large increase in visitors to the region creates extra demand on the water network.”

This comes on the back of Stage 2 of The Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry, which calls for a major overhaul of water supplies and strongly recommending mandatory treatment.

During the Havelock North event some 5,500 of the town’s 14,000 residents were estimated to have become ill with campylobacteriosis. 45 were subsequently hospitalised and it’s possible that the outbreak contributed to three deaths.

While all water supplies will be chlorinated over summer, a decision as to whether it remains as a permanent measure after summer will rest with Council early next year.

“Our staff will provide a report to Council on the risks, benefits and implications of how we can best protect the safety of all of our drinking water supplies, along with their recommendations as to how we can best achieve this,” says Mr Theelen.

“The Stage 2 Report on Drinking Water makes some unequivocal recommendations to the Government, which the Minister has already drawn to the attention of Councils around the country. We expect Government to formally respond early in the New Year, and these directions will certainly be reported to and considered by Council when it addresses this issue in detail.”

For more information on why QLDC chlorinates its water supplies please see http://www.qldc.govt.nz/services/water-services/chlorination/

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