Up to $2 million will be spent on carrying out interim remediation work on dozens of the city’s below ground well heads.
Christchurch City Council has today given the go ahead for interim remediation work to be done on up to 42 below ground well heads that tap into flowing artesian aquifers where the risk of contamination is low.
By doing minor work on those well heads, the Council can bring them up to the standard required to obtain secure status for the next two years, but in the future they will need to be replaced with above ground well heads or abandoned.
The interim remediation work will get under way this summer provided water use can be kept at a level low enough to allow the wells to be temporarily taken out of service.
“If we want to meet our target of getting the chlorine out of our drinking water by May next year we need to do this interim remediation work,’’ says Cr Pauline Cotter, Chair of the Council’s Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee.
“It is a short-term fix that will allow us to stop the temporary chlorination at 16 pump stations much sooner than would be the case if we had to wait until we could get the well heads raised above ground.
“The reality is that if we follow our preferred, best practise approach and raise every well head across the city to above ground, it will take us three years to complete the programme because we are constrained by the number of wells we can take out of service at any one time,’’ Cr Cotter says.
Since the start of the year 33 wells have been upgraded as part of the Council’s well head improvement programme. Work is under way on another 11 wells.
Over the summer work will begin on a further 11 wells at five sites. Work on those 11 wells is also dependent on people answering the call to conserve water.