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Last modified: 30 Jun 2022 12:12pm

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Selwyn District Council will be upgrading water supplies over the remainder of the year to meet new national rules for keeping drinking water safe.

The Council is working to meet the requirements of the Water Services Act 2021, which requires all councils to be able to provide residual disinfection (chlorine) for all public drinking water supplies and to be chlorinated by 15 November 2022, unless they have an exemption from the drinking water authority Taumata Arowai.

Selwyn has 27 drinking water supplies, providing drinking water to 70% of the district’s residents. Nine of these supplies are already permanently chlorinated and the Council has begun the work to ensure all remaining supplies have the infrastructure in place to provide chlorination.

Over the coming months, the Council will be completing the installation of this infrastructure and beginning chlorination on a scheme-by-scheme basis, to comply with the legislation. Residents on each supply will be contacted directly before the chlorine is turned on for their supply.

The Council has also begun the process of applying for exemptions for schemes that are not already chlorinated, Council Group Manager Infrastructure Murray Washington says.

“As far as we know, Selwyn was the first council in the country to file an application for an exemption from chlorination. This is in keeping with our commitment in the Council’s Long-Term Plan 2021-2031 that we would work with Taumata Arowai to clarify the requirements for exemption, and work with the community on the costs and rating options for the upgrades needed to gain exemptions. As this process continues we will keep working with our community, while ensuring we comply with the law to keep our drinking water safe.”

Where a scheme does not have an exemption on 15 November 2022 temporary chlorination will continue as required by law.

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