Bore water is treated and safe to drink
Bore water, which has supplemented the water supply for Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Raumati in recent weeks, goes through the same treatment process as river water before it comes out of our taps.
As of Monday 14 April, the amount of bore water being used to supplement this water supply was 75%. To check the ratio of bore water in Waikanae River each day, see www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/water-sources Water supplies for Ōtaki and Paekākāriki come from different bore fields and don’t use any river water.
“Bore water is actually safe to drink without treatment, as it comes from selected aquifers deep in the ground which are deemed as secure from contamination. However, we treat it in the same way we treat river water as all water goes through the plant at the same time, so any bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and harmful chemicals are removed to ensure the water is completely safe,” says Council’s Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants Manager Dave Bassett.
The Waikanae Water Treatment Plant produces water to an A rating under the Ministry of Health’s grading system. Water from the river requires a 99.99% reduction in pathogens to achieve this grade.
“So while bore water may taste a bit different from river water, it still conforms to the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards which align with levels set by the World Health Organisation,” Mr Bassett says.
“Once the river recharge scheme is operating, bore water will be added to Waikanae River below the Treatment Plant when river levels are low, so more water can be taken from the river. Because the bore water will be added below the plant, it won’t enter water supply.”
“However in the meantime, without enough rain, we have to use some bore water to meet demand.”
Water demand in Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Raumati over the past five days has been between 12.5-13.5 million litres per day which is low for the dry weather conditions we are experiencing.
Some tips for dealing with bore water:
• Jugs may get a build up of lime scale, but this can be removed by using a small amount of vinegar. Only boil as much water as you need and replace the water in the jug every time you use it.
• Don’t wash your car or windows in direct sunlight as this will leave white marks on the glass. This can be removed with vinegar but generally the glass surfaces are large, so it’s better not to wash them in direct sunlight in the first place.
• If you don’t like the taste of bore water, then use your emergency water supply for drinking if you have one and refill the containers with bore water until we are back on river water.