Water  |  29 May 2023

Chlorination of the remaining 20% of Christchurch’s water supply will begin later this week.

On 9 May Government water regulator Taumata Arowai advised that it intends to decline Christchurch City Council’s first chlorine exemption applications.

Chlorine timing 

Brooklands-Kainga introduced later this week - suburbs impacted Brooklands, Kainga, Spencerville 

Parklands and Rawhiti introduced week 5 June - suburbs impacted Aranui, Avondale, Bexley, Burwood, Marshland, Mairehau, Parklands, Queespark, New Brighton, North New Brighton and South Brighton

Northwest introduced week of 12 June - suburbs impacted Belfast, Northwood, Casebrook, Harewood, Bishopdale, Burnside, Ilam, Avonhead, Redwood, Russley, Broomfield, Middleton, Upper Riccarton, Fendalton, Styx and Northcote

Birdlings Flat introduced week of 19 June

Without an exemption in place, chlorine will be introduced to all water supply zones across the city. This is a necessary step to comply with the Water Services Act and the associated rules and standards for community water supplies.

The lowest dose of chlorine, that is sufficient to achieve greater than 0.2 milligrams per litre across the network, will be introduced to the areas which have been unchlorinated.

“We know this will be disappointing for residents who’ve previously enjoyed unchlorinated water, but we have to take this step to comply with the law,” Acting Head of Three Waters Brent Smith says.

“We’ve been working to update current chlorination equipment at our pump stations and are now ready to get it up-and-running.

“Some of our staff and contractors working in three waters have reported an increase in abuse in recent weeks. Please remember that our staff are just doing their jobs. They’re people just like you – please be cool, not cruel, and make sure they’re treated with respect.

“When chlorine is introduced to an unchlorinated water supply there can be taste and odour issues as chlorinated water reacts with unchlorinated water and any naturally occurring biofilms in the pipework.

“Any taste and odour issues should reduce after a week or two, and we’ll be doing what we can to keep the chlorine dose to a minimum during that time.

“If you are concerned about the taste, you can keep drinking water in a jug in the fridge. The chlorine taste will dissipate naturally over a few hours,” he says.

For more information about the chlorination of Christchurch water go to ccc.govt.nz/water-chlorination, or read these questions and answers.