The Ministry of Health Drinking Water Report 2020/21 was released on March 3, documenting which of New Zealand’s public drinking water supplies do and do not pass set safety criteria. Hastings’ main urban supply was recorded as non-compliant in one element of the four required. Health, Bacterial and Chemical (passed); Protozoal (not passed).
The Protozoal result relates to the requirement that all drinking water supplies have validated and monitored UV treatment, which the Hastings supply will not have until the new Frimley and Waiaroha water storage and treatment facilities are completed (mid 2022 and mid-2023 respectively). In the meantime, to ensure the water is safe, Hastings District Council has a comprehensive testing regime - both automated and manual – which has been approved by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s Drinking Water Assessors. That testing regime far exceeds the requirements of the Drinking Water Standards.
Yes, Hastings District Council has a comprehensive Water Safety Plan that is approved by the Ministry of Health’s Drinking Water Assessors. The supply is tested constantly and passes all of those tests.
Because the main supply does not have validated and monitored UV treatment yet (it’s being installed as part of the Frimley and Waiaroha upgrades), the water supply is automatically non-compliant in one of the four elements in the criteria: Protozoal. To ensure the water is safe while those facilities are being built, Council uses constant on-line monitoring of the supply and back-up testing to ensure the water is safe to drink. It passes the remaining three criteria: Health, Bacterial and Chemical.
The main urban supply passed the other three criteria: Health, Bacterial and Chemical.
It is non-compliant in one out of four criteria. To pass the Protozoal criteria under the current rules, validated and monitored UV is required. That is being installed as part of the new Frimley and Waiaroha water storage and treatment facilities. In the meantime, comprehensive testing is being carried out to ensure the water is safe to drink.
Protozoa are single celled organisms that can cause illness. They have not been detected in Hastings’ water (treated or untreated). However, to be sure Hastings’ drinking water is protected from such contamination the new UV treatment systems, which kill protozoa, are being installed. The Havelock North contamination in 2016 was related to bacterial contamination, not protozoal contamination.
Waimarama is recorded as Protozoal non-compliant, as the report is for 2020/2021 when that drinking water supply did not have UV. It has since been installed and is operational.
Waipatiki is recorded as Protozoal non-compliant for the same reason; its UV treatment is being installed as part of an upgrade to the drinking water supply that is currently underway.
All other Council-managed water supplies passed all criteria.
The supply is expected to be compliant once the water upgrades have been completed. Frimley water treatment and storage facility is due to be completed mid-2022; Waiaroha is due to be completed mid-2023.
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