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Water treatment and testing

Keeping our water safe: Treatment and testing

Hastings District Council uses up to three types of treatment to ensure drinking water supplied to our residents is safe.

Two of those treatments take place at the bores (filtering and UV) and are designed to get rid of any contamination as the bores draw the water from the aquifer into our system. Chlorination is added after those treatments, to ensure that the water stays safe as it travels through the hundreds of kilometres of pipes between the bores and people’s drinking taps.


Water filters are the first step in our water treatment process, used at sites that take water from springs or shallow bores that might potentially be infiltrated by surface water. Filters remove particles from the water, acting as a pre-treatment to ensure the UV treatment process can work effectively.

UV water treatment

UV, short for ultraviolet light, is a treatment method that destroys microorganisms  in the water, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia which can cause serious ill health. Water  drawn from bores and springs runs past the UV light before entering the pipe network.


Chlorination of the supply protects the water from contamination as it moves through the pipe network, in case things like cracked pipes or faulty back-flow preventers allow untreated water into the system. Council uses Sodium Hypochlorite (no ammonia) at a dose rate of one part per million – about one tenth of the amount used to keep a public swimming pool water clean.
Chlorination is a requirement of the New Zealand Ministry of Health unless a council can prove that its network is without faults and the water is safe. Hastings District Council is committed to exploring ways of treatment and network modifications that will allow water to be supplied without chlorination.

For more on non-chlorinate supplies see:

Council does provide access to chlorine-removed water at public taps across the district.


Council tests the drinking water supply daily from an average 35 points across the network, both for both contaminants and chlorine levels. The sampling and testing is carried out by an IANZ-accredited laboratory with field sampling results available immediately and bacteriological results after 18 hours.
The combination of manual sampling and online continuous monitoring allows council to detect and respond quickly to any changes in water quality.

VIEW THE Ministry of Health plumbosolvency notice


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