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Water nearly compliant

Drinking water in Wairarapa is almost fully compliant with national standards. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

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Drinking water in South Wairarapa is almost fully compliant after failing on nearly every Drinking Water Safety New Zealand standard in 2018.

Water supplies across South Wairarapa were compliant in every category at the end of October, except Memorial Park in Greytown for protozoa, according to Wellington Water.

“Everything is on track, it’s really positive in the way we’ve been able to get back on track,” South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said.

“There are a lot more standards being included for compliance now, and some we may not have been aware of in the past.”

The 2018-19 compliance status showed the Waiohine water treatment plant near Featherston was not compliant with bacteria, protozoa, and chemical standards.

Now it is compliant.

At Featherston Water Treatment Plant and Ruamahanga Water Treatment Plant, there has been “infrequent data loss due to unreliable equipment and power brown outs,” South Wairarapa District Council’s meeting agenda stated.

“If we miss one data point, that’s a fail on the whole system,” Beijen said.

The Memorial Park water treatment plant near Greytown was not compliant with bacteria and protozoa standards in 2018, but complied to chemical standards.

Now it is just incompliant for protozoa standards.

The non-compliance is due to additional filtration being required to meet DWSNZ requirements, although work to achieve this is in progress.

The project had been “complicated by summer demand risk management”, SWDC said.

“The three water networks are ageing, and the associated work volumes to maintain them is increasing, as are compliance costs.”

The Martinborough plant was not compliant with bacteria and protozoa standards but was up to standard for chemicals.

Now it is compliant across the board.

In terms of data, although Martinborough’s drinking water was now compliant, “an approved water safety plan is required to meet DWSNZ compliance requirements, which will be undertaken in the 2020/2021 financial year”, Wellington Water said.

Wellington Water had made headway in upgrades to the three water treatment plants, including a manganese removal plant constructed at Martinborough which was linked to the existing water treatment plant.

“Work continues to address key operational issues and improve core performance,” SWDC said.

“As part of the review of how Wellington Water provide services to South Wairarapa District Council, additional resourcing has been applied, and network operations split from treatment of water and wastewater to improve management oversight and control.”

SWDC was to discuss progress on the water treatment plants at a meeting today.

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