Good progress made on water strategy
Two years on from the Havelock North water contamination event the Hastings District Council has taken on board the learnings from the government water inquiry and made the delivery of safe water a top priority.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says it’s an important time to reflect on and acknowledge what happened, and to also acknowledge the enormous amount of progress that has been made in the last two years.
“We recognise the community is still feeling the impact of the event,” she says.
“People suffered in many ways — emotionally, financially and physically — and we know some of that pain lingers — everyone has our heartfelt sympathies.”
She said the council had taken many steps to safeguard the district’s residents to ensure an event like this never happened again, and this progress would continue in the years ahead.
“This will mean our district has safe and reliable drinking water for many years to come,” she says.
In August last year the council adopted a new water strategy, and to date had completed a significant amount of work to achieve what are likely to be amended New Zealand Drinking Water Standards as a result of the inquiry.
A $47.5 million investment package for the whole district over the next four years had been committed — $40.5m to be spent on building new infrastructure to replace the Brookvale bore and the eventual full treatment (UV and chlorine) of all drinking water sources by 2021.
Physical works completed to date included the removal of Brookvale bores 1 and 2, with full treatment to a very high standard installed at Brookvale bore 3.
The bore at Wilson Rd had been upgraded, including UV treatment, a new bore had been put in at Flaxmere, and the construction of the new Hastings to Havelock North water trunk main was two-thirds complete.
Plans were in place to construct a water booster pump station at Havelock North over the next 12 months, and major upgrades were under way at the Eastbourne and Frimley borefields. This work included new treatment and reservoir storage.
As part of the upgrades new technology had been installed to allow the council to monitor water quality in real time to identify any issues before they potentially impacted drinking water quality.
A further $7m would be invested in the infrastructure and treatment of small urban water supplies at Te Awanga/ Haumoana, Clive, Whakatu, and Waipatu, and small community supplies at Waimarama, Waipatiki and Whirinaki.