Increased Nitrate Levels - Update 4
Increased Nitrate Levels
Lower Waihao (incl. Waikakahi East) Rural Water Scheme
FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER, 2PM
Thank you to everyone that took the time to attend the public meeting on nitrates last Saturday at Glenavy Hall. As you would have heard, this is a complex situation that Council are continually working on behind the scenes to address. As part of the solution, Council are working closely with Taumata Arowai and Environment Canterbury to resolve this issue at the earliest opportunity, but there are a number of factors to consider and this will take time.
To address the increased nitrate levels, Council are committed to building a denitrification plant – purposely designed to remove nitrate at the water source. However, this is not a short term fix and will take many months to finalise design, build and get required consents for this project. It is estimated commissioning of the denitrification plant is likely to be May/June 2023
Therefore, until nitrate concentrations return to compliant levels, it is strongly advised to access safe drinking water from the following three locations:
• Glenavy Hall, SH 1, Glenavy
• Morven Hall, MacLean Street, Morven
• Victoria Park Potable Water tap on Hillary Street, Waimate
If you or someone you know has difficulty accessing these locations, please contact Council on 03 689 0000.
WHERE DOES THE WATER FOR THE WATER TANK STATIONS COME FROM, AND IS IT SAFE?
The water in all four potable water tank stations (Morven, Glenavy, Glenavy School, and Glenavy Fishing Huts) is compliant with the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards and is safe. It is chlorinated, and staff monitor the free available chlorine levels weekly along with bacterial monitoring (E.coli & Total coliforms), to assure the drinking water is safe and compliant. The tanks are also topped with fresh water fortnightly.
The drinking water supplied to the tanks is delivered by a registered drinking water carrier that comes from Temuka Transport. This means the water supplied so far has currently come from Temuka township, which is also a compliant registered drinking water supply in the Timaru District. Both the source and transport of water meet the current New Zealand Drinking Water Standards requirements.
WHY IS THERE A WATER STATION ON HILLARY STREET?
Council have this water station available for the convenience of the Lower Waihao (including Waikakahi East) scheme users who are regularly in Waimate. This water comes directly from the Waimate township water supply.
WHAT ABOUT MY PETS?
During this nitrate advisory, we recommend household pets be given the potable drinking water. While dogs and cats can handle a higher level of nitrates than most people, it’s advisable to err on the side of caution when providing their water intake.
If you have any further queries or issues relating to animals, please speak with your local vet.
SHOULD I BE TESTING MY PRIVATE BORE?
Yes, Environment Canterbury and Council recommend anyone who takes their drinking water from a private bore undergoes regular water quality testing to ensure the safety of their drinking water. There is also raised concern as we know of our own nitrate issue. Nitrate is tasteless so your water may be affected even if you haven’t found any noticeable change in taste.
Environment Canterbury provides further advice on this here; https://www.ecan.govt.nz/your-region/your-environment/water/whats-happening-in-my-water-zone/ashburton-water-zone/action-on-the-ground/protecting-your-private-drinking-water-source/
CAN I SHOWER AND BATHE IN THE WATER?
Yes, nitrates in water only affect you if digested, do not use the water for food preparation or drinking, but you can bathe, wash your clothes and flush your toilet with the water.
Please be assured that we sincerely appreciate the inconvenience caused and are doing everything we can to restore safe drinking water through the scheme in the coming months.
Stay tuned to Council's Facebook page and website for weekly updates, every Friday at 2pm.
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