Waitomo District Council’s treated water is safe to consume

18 Aug 2016, 11:54 AM

Understandably the current public health issues associated with the Havelock North water supply is resulting is a wider public discussion of water supply safety.

The New Zealand Drinking Water Standards imposes a legal requirement on Waitomo District Council that it disinfect the treated water reticulation systems that it operates by injecting chlorine into all treated water as it is pumped from the Water Treatment Plants. This health requirement ensures that no bacteria is present when the water comes out of the tap. The injection of a carefully measured amount of chlorine is the final step in WDC’s water treatment process.

Waitomo District Council’s Asset Group Manager Kobus du Toit says that WDC’s water treatment plants in Te Kuiti, Piopio, Mokau, and Benneydale provide safe, treated water that is dosed with chlorine to the standards required for drinking water.

“All of the WDC Water Treatment Plants are connected to our SCADA system – a telemetry monitoring system that allows WDC to check the treatment processes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. WDC can remotely shut down its water treatment plants. Alarms within the system notify us if chemical dosing levels are low or too high.” Says Mr du Toit.

WDC undertake a water sampling regime on at least once a week cycles. In addition to this, the onsite treatment plant operators carry out testing to confirm on-line analysers are working correctly.

Ultra-violet (UV) disinfection systems are in place at the Benneydale and Mokau Water Treatment Plants.

Also, the treatment process used at the Piopio Water Treatment Plant is of the Ultra Filtration (Membrane) type that removes virus and bacteria as part of the treatment of the raw water.

The Te Kuiti Water Treatment Plant is currently being upgraded. Once renewed, the Plant will also provide Ultra-violet (UV) disinfection, and meet the standards set by the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2005 (amended in 2008), ensuring the provision of high-quality water that will benefit the people who live in and visit our communities, for generations to come.

Mr du Toit says that Waitomo District residents can be assured that the risks associated with the District’s Water Supplies are managed with great care, and the provision of safe water supplies is the top priority.