Boil wa­ter days may soon be over

Bush Telegraph - - News - ChRIS­TINE MCKAY

The days of boil wa­ter no­tices for Pon­garoa may soon be a thing of the past.

Re­cently the Tararua District Coun­cil told res­i­dents to boil their wa­ter af­ter there were pos­i­tive E. coli tests from the wa­ter sup­ply. This was the lat­est of boil wa­ter no­tices in the past six months and the prob­lems have stretched back years, prompt­ing the coun­cil to up­grade the wa­ter scheme.

In De­cem­ber 2017 the coun­cil is­sued a pre­cau­tion­ary boil wa­ter no­tice for Pon­garoa, this fol­lowed a no­tice is­sued in March 2016 af­ter Pon­garoa’s ur­ban and ru­ral sup­ply failed an E. coli test. That no­tice was lifted two weeks later.

Peter Wim­sett, coun­cil’s man­ager of district strat­egy and devel­op­ment, said the prob­lems prompted his coun­cil to be­gin plan­ning for an up­grade of the wa­ter scheme.

“At the mo­ment, we seem to be get­ting a lot of tur­bid­ity in the Pon­garoa sup­ply,” he told the Dan­nevirke News this week. “Pon­garoa has a very large retic­u­lated scheme. It’s huge and ri­vals Dan­nevirke’s scheme.”

Mr Wim­sett said the prob­lems with the wa­ter qual­ity at Pon­garoa came about be­cause the chlo­ri­na­tor is close to the wa­ter source in the Puke­toi Ranges. Along with the very high tur­bid wa­ter from in­take sup­ply there is a very low chlo­rine resid­ual in the town retic­u­la­tion net­work.

“The wa­ter has a long way to go to Pon­garoa and we have been re­build­ing the old sand fil­ter and we’ll treat the wa­ter for the retic­u­la­tion be­fore it gets to Pon­garoa,” he said. “At the mo­ment we are build­ing a new treat­ment plant, with the work com­pleted in the next week and then the fil­tra­tion plant will be in­stalled. We are still aiming to have this op­er­a­tional by July 31, sub­ject to the weather.”

Pon­garoa’s wa­ter will then be treated to the re­quired drink­ing wa­ter stan­dard and Mr Wim­sett is hope­ful this will be the end of the on­go­ing wa­ter prob­lems.

The new plant is be­ing built at a cost of $600,000, with an ad­di­tional $50,000 for an AVG fil­ter. The coun­cil has re­ceived a $393,000 sub­sidy from the Min­istry of Health for the work.

PHOTO: CHRIS­TINE MCKAY

An­other boil wa­ter no­tice is in place, with E. coli de­tected in the sup­ply. But a new $600,000 treat­ment plant may see the end to the town’s wa­ter woes.

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