Chlorination of the Martinborough Water Supply – towards resilience

1 July 2019

On Wednesday 26 June Council agreed to consult with the community on the risks associated with the existing temporary chlorination arrangements in Martinborough, and the construction and timing of the manganese removal plant.

South Wairarapa District Council Chief Executive Harry Wilson says, “urgent action must be taken to ensure the delivery of clean, clear, and safe drinking water for our community. It’s imperative that the Martinborough water supply has clarity and meets public health standards.”

The manganese naturally occurring in the town’s water supply can block filters and when mixed with chlorine causes discolouration. The town is currently being supplied with water from one bore with low enough manganese levels to allow for chlorination. However, operating from one bore is not sustainable, particularly in summer when there is increased demand for water.

Council is preparing to consult with the community to seek a genuine exchange of information, points of view and options regarding the continuance of temporary chlorination, as Council proceeds with a manganese plant to allow permanent chlorination.

Community feedback is important as it will inform how this project is implemented.

Later this month, Council will be engaging and consulting on:

  • the risks and vulnerabilities around our current temporary chlorination arrangements
  • the urgency surrounding proceeding with a manganese plant to allow permanent chlorination
  • managing summer water demand prior to the manganese plant being operational
  • how this project is primarily loan funded with the remainder coming from the Martinborough infrastructure reserve. This means that the cost of the manganese plant will be achieved within the Annual Plan budgets, with the 5.48% rates increase remaining the same.
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