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Christchurch water chlorination urgently needed to protect public health


24 January 2018

Water New Zealand strongly supports the call for Christchurch’s water to be chlorinated.

Technical manager Noel Roberts says untreated ground water cannot be guaranteed to be safe and councils that do not treat drinking water are taking a risk with the health and safety of their communities.

The latest call to treat Christchurch’s water has come from the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey following the removal of the city’s “secure bore status” and an engineering report that identified defects with the bore heads.

Noel Roberts says one of the key recommendations from the Havelock North inquiry is the removal of the classification of secure bore status from the Drinking Water Standards.

“This is because it is virtually impossible to guarantee that ground water is free from contamination.

“That’s why Water New Zealand is now urging all water suppliers to ensure they chlorinate any untreated ground water supply.”

He says Christchurch City Councillors will be taking a risk with public health if they vote against chlorinating Christchurch’s water at tomorrow’s meeting.

“The Havelock North contamination is a sobering reminder of the tragic consequences that can happen when a council fails to ensure its community’s water supply is properly protected.”

Water New Zealand will be running a series of seminars throughout the country next month so that water suppliers can better understand how the Havelock North inquiry findings will affect the delivery of drinking water.