New bores to reduce E Coli risk in water
Project gets go-ahead
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.