Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Christchurch closes water fill stations

Unchlorinated water fill stations at the Keyes (New Brighton) and Burnside pump stations will be permanently closed to comply with drinking water laws, Christchurch City Council has announced.

On 9 May, Government water regulator, Taumata Arowai, advised that it intends to decline Christchurch City Council’s first chlorine exemption applications.

Chlorine has since been introduced to all water supply zones in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula in what is a necessary step to comply with the Water Services Act and the associated rules and standards for community water supplies.

Taumata Arowai has now confirmed that the requirement to chlorinate extends to the Council’s unchlorinated water fill stations.

Head of Three Waters, Brent Smith says the Council has a responsibility to comply with Government legislation.

“We know this will be disappointing for some people, but we have no choice in the matter – we must comply with the law – so the stations will be permanently closed in the coming days.” 

“Making sure Christchurch and Banks Peninsula residents have access to safe and reliable drinking water is our number one priority.

“Chlorine has been used safely all around the world for about 120 years. It keeps millions of people all over the globe – including in most of New Zealand – safe from waterborne illness.

“If you are concerned about the taste of chlorine, you can keep drinking water in an open jug in the fridge. The chlorine taste will dissipate naturally over a few hours,” Mr Smith says.

The Council recently provided feedback on the Taumata Arowai draft exemption decisions.

“In late June we sent Taumata Arowai feedback on the draft exemption decisions. They will now consider our feedback before issuing a final decision.”

“We are not expecting the final decision to change due to the nature of feedback received in the drafts,” Mr Smith says.

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