Buller District Council

Reefton Water Supply Upgrade Project

Information in regard to the Reefton water supply upgrade project will be posted to this webpage, you can also find information on Facebook – Click here.

If you have any questions in regard to this project please email reeftonwater@bdc.govt.nz 
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Reefton Water Supply Improvements

One of the key projects in Buller District Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2020/21 is the capital improvements programme for the Reefton water supply.
These improvements include:

• the realignment and replacement of the rising and falling main
• the provision of residual disinfection (chlorination)
• pressure reduction, and
• securing the integrity of the treated water reservoir.

Why is Council planning to do this work?
As a water supplier, it is Council’s responsibility to provide drinking water to the standard expected by the Ministry of Health (MOH). This is achieved by complying with the compliance targets defined in the Drinking Water Standards New Zealand 2018 (DWSNZ). Frequent monitoring and testing of water within the treatment plant and throughout the reticulation is undertaken and reported back to Council’s drinking water regulator, the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), to demonstrate compliance with DWSNZ.
The DWSNZ compliance targets have become increasingly strict in their requirements following the Government inquiry into the Havelock North water contamination incident in 2016. The inquiry produced several key recommendations for public drinking water supplies nationwide. The most notable of these is the recommendation for residual disinfection to be used in all drinking water supplies to protect water against possible recontamination once it has been treated.
The new compliance targets, along with the recent detection of E. coli and fluctuating total coliform counts in the Reefton reticulation, has led the CDHB to make it clear to Council that they will not support lifting the precautionary Boil Water Notice under the current water supply arrangement at Reefton.
This means that the Reefton water supply will continue to be managed under a precautionary Boil Water Notice indefinitely unless improvements to the Reefton water infrastructure are made.
Council expects that DWSNZ compliance will be restored for the Reefton water supply once works are complete, enabling the precautionary Boil Water Notice to be lifted.

How is Reefton’s water currently treated?
Water is drawn from a bore adjacent to the Inangahua River and pumped to the water treatment plant at The Strand where it is pushed through a series of filters, treated by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and then distributed through the reticulation to consumers.

Boil Water Notice FAQ’s (521Kb)
Why do we have to put chlorine in water (2Mb)
Water Chlorination FAQ’s (258Kb)
Reefton Water Supply Information July 2020 (394Kb)
FAQs-Reefton-Water-Supply (354Kb)


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