8 Feb 2018

Christchurch City Council has approved the terms of reference for the external review into the events that led to the downgrading of the security status on the city’s water supply.

Since the earthquakes Christchurch’s water supply has had a “provisionally secure’’ status which meant that under the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand it did not need to be treated.

A glass of drinking water.

An external review will examine the events that led to Christchurch's drinking water having to be treated with chlorine.

The loss of the “provisionally secure’’ status led the Council to make the decision on 25 January to temporarily treat the city’s water supply with chlorine.However, in late December that status was removed after assessments of 25 wells at nine different pump stations across the city.

The water will be treated with chlorine until work on upgrading of the security of the below ground well heads has been completed – due to happen by the year’s end - and the Christchurch Drinking Water Assessor is satisfied the wells are secure.

At the 25 January meeting the Council asked Chief Executive Dr Karleen Edwards to commission an external review of the events that preceded the downgrading of the city’s water supply.

Today the Council endorsed the scope and objectives for that review.

“The Council asked for a review at its 25 January meeting. I have actioned that request and today, as part of the process, checked the scope and objectives of that review. This will enable us to proceed with a common understanding,’’ Dr Edwards says.

“It will assess our handling of the situation, the adequacy of our existing practises and procedures, and whether we could have done things better,’’ she says.