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FAQsNgā Pātai e Kaha Whiua Ana

Why is our water chlorinated? How much do all the water upgrades cost? It is these questions and more that are answered in this section. In particular, pertinent answers to questions about why Napier’s drinking water supply is now chlorinated.

Water Supply FAQs 

September 2018

Q. Our water was fine before – what's changed?

Lessons learned from the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry has led to proposed changes to the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards 2005 (revised 2008). Increased understanding of the aquifer means we're now aware of the risks of groundwater contamination at its source. The Government has calculated that illness from public water supplies in New Zealand is significant, with up to 100,000 people getting sick every year. The uncomfortable reality is that New Zealand's water networks have probably been housing dangerous pathogens for years. So now, we're doing something about it.

Q. How can water become contaminated?

There are many risks associated with a large public water supply like Napier's, and any of the examples below could result in contaminates being introduced:
• At the source
• At the aquifer through other private bores
• Backflow (reverse fl ow) from houses or industry
• Through pests and birds entering storage reservoirs
• Contractors hitting water pipes during excavation work
• Illegal drawing of water from fire hydrants
• Acts of vandalism
• Illegal connections.

Q. What work have we done in Napier since the Havelock North inquiry?

Work completed to date includes bringing three bores above ground and upgrading those bore chambers where the bore head is underground. We've stopped using two bores that didn't meet requirements, made improvements to reservoirs and also started chlorinating our supply. Then there's an enhanced maintenance programme which includes extensive mains cleaning to remove biofilm (the accumulation of microorganisms and organic/inorganic matter) from our reticulated water network.

Q. Why use chlorine?

Chlorine has been proven to be the most effective treatment for water supply networks for two reasons:

1. It treats water for pathogens if they are present in the water.
2. It provides a residual disinfection. This is an added safety measure which effectively deals with any minor issues in the reservoirs and
reticulated network (that's the pipes which carry water to homes and businesses).

There are other types of treatment, such as UV treatment and ozone, which are effective at the point of abstraction. However, they don't
provide residual disinfection within the reticulation network. Accordingly, chlorine is the best option as it provides an additional level of protection within the reservoirs and reticulation (delivery) network.

Q. What is all the water upgrade work costing?

The entire work programme, which includes network enhancements, will cost approximately $16 million over four years. Drinking water costs are covered by a Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) in annual rates.

Q. What about de-chlorinated taps?

NCC has also decided, following Long Term Plan consultation, to provide two dechlorinated water stations at yet-to-be-determined locations. The first station (4-taps) is due to be commissioned by June 2019. The second station will be commissioned in 2019/2020 financial year.

Q. I'm trying to find where my water toby is located

Try looking for one or two chisel marks or a dash of blue or yellow paint on the face of the kerb in front of your property. If you find a mark have a look in line with the mark just inside or just outside the property boundary. If you still can't find your toby, call our Customer Service Centre (+64 6 835 7579) for assistance.

Q. My toby is leaking. Can you fix it?

Yes, we fix leaking tobies. Call our Customer Service Centre on +64 6 835 7579.

Q. I have a water leak on my property. Who is responsible for fixing it?

If the water leak is after the toby (on house side), you'll need to call a plumber to fix it.

Q. I have a problem unusual odour and/or taste of the water?

Please call our 24/7 Customer Service Centre number on +64 6 835 7579.

Q. I have a problem with dirty water.

We have had some dirty water issues over the past year. In many cases, it can be quickly sorted - run your garden tap (or cold water taps inside if you don't have an outside tap) for 15-20 minutes. If that does not resolve the problem, call our Customer Service Centre on +64 6 835 7579 and ask for the main to be flushed.

Q. Is Napier water fluoridated?

No.

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