Chlorine is now required in most drinking water supplies as part of new safety regulations.
The Government’s newly established water regulator is “closely” watching Waimakariri and Christchurch as they continue to provide unchlorinated water.
Chlorine is now required in most drinking water supplies as part of new water safety regulations.
Exemptions are available and Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn have all submitted applications.
The new water regulator, Taumata Arowai, has allowed both areas to continue to “manage the risks” of unchlorinated water while their exemption applications are assessed.
* Waimakariri’s water unchlorinated for now
* Analysis: Brown and Mauger take the alternative Three Waters mantle from the regions
* Chlorination of Geraldine water to begin in mid-November
* Three Canterbury councils first in NZ to apply for chlorine exemptions under new drinking water laws
* Christchurch’s water could still be chlorinated even with an exemption
“We will be watching their activities closely,” Taumata Arowai said in a statement.
Geoff Butcher and Geoff Mavromatis say new water regulations – and its chlorine requirements – are not needed for their long-running community water schemes. (First published June 2022)
The decision means the water in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend, Pegasus, Oxford, Cust and Waikuku Beach will remain unchlorinated in-the-meantime.
Water in parts of Christchurch that has been unchlorinated will stay that way too, though that only applies to about 20% of the city. Areas around Harewood, Burwood and Brooklands do not have chlorination.
The neighbouring Selwyn district has taken a difference approach while it awaits the outcome of its exemption application.
It will introduce temporary chlorination in some places.
The Selwyn District Council says 13 of its water supplies are under temporary chlorination, including Rakaia Huts and Springston, which are two supplies where the council has sought a chlorine exemption.
“Taumata Arowai applauds this approach, which provides confidence that Selwyn residents will continue to receive safe drinking water,” Taumata Arowai chief executive Bill Bayfield said.
Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri have are collectively seeking chlorine exemptions from 10 water supplies, Taumata Arowai said.
Bayfield said suppliers must plan and manage risks. They must also provide Taumata Arowai with “the assurance that they are providing safe drinking water”.
Taumata Arowai would not give “the seal of approval” to suppliers, instead they must provide assurance that are managing risks effectively, Bayfield said.
Taumata Arowai, which is a crown entity, has been established as part of the Government’s Three Waters reform programme.
Much of this reform work was born out of the 2016 Havelock North campylobacter outbreak incident, when the town’s drinking water supply was contaminated.
Nearly a third of the Havelock North population fell ill and four people died.
The outbreak was likely caused by sheep faeces entering a stream near the town’s bores.