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Quality of water has plenty of room for improvement

Work to bring Greytown’s water supply up to compliance is due to begin in the next few months. PHOTO/GEORGE SHIERS

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Water in South Wairarapa is not up to compliance, but improvement work continues.

A report made public by the Ministry of Health found that water in Carterton, Martinborough and Opaki failed to comply with Health Act requirements in the July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021 year, with further conditions failing to be met in Featherston, Greytown and Fernridge.

Featherston, Greytown and Martinborough all failed to meet bacterial and protozoal standards because they could not demonstrate compliance.

Wellington Water chief adviser Drinking Water Laurence Edwards, said work had been carried out since, and the water was safe to drink.

“Additional filtration equipment is needed at the Memorial Park treatment plant to meet the drinking water standards for Greytown, and we can expect work to commence on this in the next few months,” he said.

“The remaining water treatment plants are expected to operate to a compliant standard, and improvements are planned to improve data capture, reliability and resilience of all treatment plants that will assist in demonstrating the performance of plants and with compliance going forward.”

Work was continuing to bring all water supplied by SWDC and Wellington Water up to compliance.

“Since South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] became a shareholder of Wellington Water in October 2019, we have installed new ultra-violet equipment at Memorial Park [Greytown], installed new pH dosing and control equipment for the treatment plants supplying Featherston and Greytown, and, using local Wairarapa resource, installed a Manganese Reduction
Plant at Martinborough.


“We have also commissioned and installed a treated water reservoir at the Waiohine Treatment Plant that serves both Featherston and Greytown.”

Martinborough did not comply with the Health Act because it did not have an implemented water safety plan as the previous plan had expired.

“A refreshed water safety plan for all of South Wairarapa, including Pirinoa, is nearing completion,” Edwards said.

“Drinking water across all of the South Wairarapa district has multi-barrier treatment processes in place. In addition to this, we have further system improvements under way and planned, through our water safety planning, to ensure the community receives safe and healthy drinking water.”

Carterton District Council [CDC] had taken several actions since e-coli was detected in the water supply in March 2021.

“The CDC flushing plan had not been updated for some time,” a CDC spokesperson said.

“The previous flushing plan had not been altered to reflect the growth in the town and old flushing points needed to be moved and new ones added to encompass all dead ends.”

Eight e-coli detections were found from March 9, 2021 to April 1, 2021. The boil water notice was lifted on April 16, 2021 after 15 days of clear results.

Of all Wairarapa water supplies, only Masterton and Tinui, both supplied by Masterton District Council, met all required standards.

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