The Hastings District Council has accepted an offer from Watercare of two ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection plants that, in conjunction with the chlorination systems that have been recently installed, will make Havelock North’s water safe to drink.
Watercare service delivery general manager Shayne Cunis says he is pleased the offer of assistance was accepted.
“Based on the information provided to us by Hastings District Council today, we are confident that the UV disinfection plants, in conjunction with chlorination, will treat Havelock North’s water to a level that is safe to drink again.”
Cunis says UV treatment is used by Watercare to treat a variety of water sources as it is an extremely safe and effective method of disinfection.
“The technology is low-cost, produces no chemical by-products and works by inactivating the microbial contaminants in the raw water,” he says.
Watercare plans to send a team of expert engineers to Havelock North later this week and expects the technology to be installed next week.
This is not the first time Watercare has assisted other councils. The company sent 28 employees to Christchurch following the earthquake on 22 February 2011.
Christchurch relies on groundwater. Prior to the earthquake, the groundwater was not treated and therefore the city’s water utility provider did not have disinfection facilities or expertise in this area.
With the threat of groundwater contamination, the Medical Officer of Health decided it was necessary to chlorinate the water to lower the risk to public health.
In the days that followed the earthquake, Watercare set up its containerised mobile chlorine dosing rig to disinfect water at the largest pump station.
This rig had been built following the earthquake in September 2010 and, while it was not needed then, it was quickly put into action in 2011.
Watercare also designed and oversaw the production, installation and commissioning of 26 chlorine dosing rigs that were used at the high risk pump stations.
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