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Christchurch is on track remove chlorine from the water supply by early December.
Christchurch City Council is working closely with Canterbury District Health Board to monitor water quality across the city and ensure our city supply is safe for people to drink.
Shortly after the 22 February earthquake, chlorine was introduced to the water supply to address potential contamination issues caused by damage to underground water and sewer services. Good progress has been made on repairs to these services and, in coming weeks, the gradual process of removing chlorine from the water will go ahead.
Council’s Water and Waste Manager Mark Christison says it will take up to six weeks to completely remove chlorine from the water and this has to be done in a staged and controlled manner to ensure no bugs are getting into the system.
“We will take water samples and tests as the roll-back progresses to ensure water quality standards are met or exceeded across the city.
“We expect to have finished removing chlorine from the water by early December.
Obviously, this timeline would be affected if there were any further significant aftershocks.
The Canterbury District Health Board drinking water testing programme does not include private wells and bores. Well and bore owners must organise ongoing private testing.
“Chlorination is a safe and effective way of managing water supply related health risks. The majority of supplies in New Zealand have chlorine in them on a permanent basis. We are lucky here in Christchurch that our standard water quality levels are so high that this is not required on an ongoing basis,” Mr Christison says.
Mayor Bob Parker says the removal of chlorine from the water will be welcomed by residents.
“We have made great progress in addressing damage to our water and waste systems and this is another step toward the city’s recovery.
“Chlorination of the water was necessary to ensure it was safe for our residents to drink, but I think we all agree that it will be wonderful to have the chlorine removed and our pure tap water returned.”
* Residents are reminded that water use restrictions are in place and everyone is urged to conserve water to ensure our earthquake-damaged supplies last throughout summer.