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Chlorination of Reefton’s water supply go live date confirmed

15 Jun 2023

Chlorination of Reefton’s water supply will take place on Monday 26 June 2023.  

Testing of the automated chlorine dosing system at the water treatment plant and fail safes carried out this week was successful, and the system has been given the go ahead to become operational.

Manager infrastructure delivery Eric de Boer says: “We have delayed the start date slightly as we want to make sure the community has reasonable notice of the date chlorination of the water supply is starting. Our project team would like to start chlorination with all its specialist contractors on-site for the initial go live sequence, which makes the 26 June 2023 an ideal date.”

Chlorination will begin on Monday morning, the 26 June 2023, but it may take about a day to filter through the drinking water system to consumers’ taps.

“We are aware that this isn’t necessarily going to be a popular development, but we have tried to do everything possible to make sure that everyone is aware of what is happening and why. Reefton is required to meet drinking water legislative requirements. The drinking water regulator, Taumata Arowai, requires the supply to have residual disinfection (chlorine).

“People may notice a change in taste or smell in their water during initial chlorination. The reaction between chlorine and any organic matter remaining in the pipes after flushing is what causes this. It is what people tend to dislike, understandably, but it shows that it is working and improves after a week or two.”

“We have put together some comprehensive FAQs on our website to help people manage any changes in the water in those initial stages. Good tips include simply leaving a jug of water sit out on your bench and/or in your fridge overnight – the chlorine level will reduce over time. You can also filter the water though a carbon filter. The cheapest option is to buy a small filter jug which sits in your fridge. You can also buy a filter that attaches to your water supply where it enters your property. It will remove all the chlorine from the water to your home. 

“People who own fish tanks also need to be aware, they should let the water sit for at least 24 hours before replacing the existing water. We have more details and tips on our website.

“In terms of dosing, the Drinking Water Rules require a minimum dose of 0.2 mg/l of chlorine in the water at the point of supply on your property (the toby). This dose needs to reach the last property on the reticulated system, which may mean properties closer to the treatment plant notice more of a difference than those further away. 

“Unfortunately, there is very little we can do about that, but residents are encouraged to contact us if they want to talk about what is happening,” says Mr de Boer.

Residents can make a service request or email with the subject Reefton chlorination. This might result in more flushing and testing in the network.

Council's website contains some useful tips and information on what to expect following chlorination.


further information please contact:
Manager infrastructure delivery
Eric de Boer