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Drinking Water FAQs

What water supplies in Hastings are chlorinated?

All Council-supplied public drinking water systems are chlorinated. Hastings District Council public supplies are: Hastings (including Havelock North and Flaxmere); Whakatu; Clive; Te Awanga; Waimarama; Omahu; Whirinaki and Esk; Paki Paki.

Why is that?
The Government Inquiry into the Havelock North Drinking Water and the Director General of Health have strongly recommended that all public water supplies be chlorinated as the best way to keep drinking water safe. It is accepted world-wide as the most effective way to rid water of harmful micro-organisms that can make people sick, including campylobacter.

If we have UV treatment, why do we need chlorine?
‘At source’ water treatments, such as filters and UV, only treat water at the point of contact. Chlorine travels with the water, which means it protects the supply right through the system in the case things like pipe breaks or back flow incidents.

Why don’t water bottlers need to chlorinate their water?
Water bottlers do treat their water. They have to comply with MPI rules as a ‘food’ producer and spend a great deal of money on treatment options at the point where the water comes out of the ground. The difference is that they don’t have a pipe network, so they don’t need to protect water for as long as councils do. They also don’t have risks associated with having thousands of connections into their supply which can, under certain conditions, ‘back-flow’ contamination into the supply.

What is the product going in? Is there ammonia in it?
The water system is being dosed with Sodium Hypochlorite. This does not contain ammonia.

What is the amount going in at the injection point?
The dose rate is one part per million.

What is the level Council is aiming for across the system?
We are targeting a residual chlorine level of 0.7 parts per million (ppm). This will vary in the system depending on distance and location in the network.  The Drinking Water Standards allow a range residual chlorine in the reticulation from a minimum 0.2 parts per million up to 1.5 ppm.

How much is in a public swimming pool?
A public swimming pool typically has in the order of 10 times more chlorine than the water supply reticulation.

Is Council testing chlorine levels at different points across the systems?
Yes, Council tests chlorine levels at points right across the water supply reticulation systems.

Is fluoride also being put into the water system?
No, however it is intended that fluoride will be re-introduced to the main Hastings-Havelock North supply as the infrastructure is upgraded, as requested by the public in a referendum in 2013.

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