New bores to re­duce E Coli risk in wa­ter

Project gets go-ahead

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By AIMEE WIL­SON

Hawea’s drink­ing wa­ter woes should be over by summer with the Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil con­firm­ing two new bores will be op­er­a­tional by Jan­uary 2015.

In­fra­struc­ture engi­neer Ni­chola Greaves told a pub­lic meet­ing last week new bores and a new UV treat­ment plant at Scotts Beach would lower the risk of con­tam­i­nants en­ter­ing the town’s wa­ter sup­ply.

Hawea’s retic­u­lated drink­ing wa­ter was last con­tam­i­nated with E Coli in Jan­uary.

Four years ago sev­eral preg­nant women be­came un­well, af­ter it went un­de­tected.

Preg­nant women are at risk of hav­ing pre­ma­ture ba­bies if they are sub­jected to E Coli.

Greaves told the meet­ing it was dif­fi­cult to con­trol what came into the wa­ter in­take be­cause it was an open wa­ter source.

It is mon­i­tored twice a week for E Coli, pH and tur­bid­ity and if con­tam­i­na­tion is de­tected then boil wa­ter no­tices are is­sued to the pub­lic, and the wa­ter chlo­ri­nated un­til clear again, she said.

The coun­cil has said in the past the con­tam­i­na­tion prob­a­bly came from runoff into the lake from sur­round­ing land.

The present drink­ing wa­ter in­take is lo­cated at the Hawea dam and then moves to an ex­ist­ing UV treat­ment plant.

Greaves said the plant was built in 1991 with up­grades in 1998 and 2003.

She said the wa­ter sup­ply would be treated with chlo­rine dur­ing the changeover phase of the project.

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