Havelock North sparks safe drinking water workshop

24 Nov 2016

Year 2016

Local authority leaders in and around the Manawatu have the opportunity next week to learn more about the risks and responsibilities around supplying safe drinking water to communities.

Water New Zealand is running a workshop on Tuesday in Palmerston North aimed at helping ensure that decision makers, including local body councillors, council and district health board staff, and district health board members, understand the risks and responsibilities around the supply of drinking water.

Chief Executive John Pfahlert says councillors, as well as staff, have a responsibility to ensure that their communities are supplied with safe drinking water and it’s important that all elected representatives understand their role.

“That’s why this workshop will be particularly important to newly elected leaders.”

“The Havelock North water contamination crisis shows just what can happen when there is a failure to ensure safe drinking water, and even closer to home, we’ve seen Pahiatua residents having to boil drinking water after their water supply tested positive for E. coli.”

The workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss the evolution of safe water supplies, the contaminants that make people sick, technologies and what compliance tools are trying to achieve.

“While it’s too early to draw any conclusions from Havelock North, we’ll be looking at the cause and effects of other developed world water-borne illness outbreaks such as those in Milwaukee, Walkerton and Darfield. And we’ll look at how they have changed our thinking.

“The workshop is designed to inform local authority leaders and decision makers, but registration will be accepted from other organisations including interested members of the public, although there is an attendance limit.”

It is being held on Tuesday 29 November and is supported by SOLGM (New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers) and LGNZ (Local government New Zealand).