Pauanui Aquifer Reconfiguration project FAQs

A list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Pauanui Aquifer Reconfiguration Project and drinking water quality issues.

1- Pauanui's drinking water has "failed" giardia, cryptosporidia and arsenic levels. At the levels found could this contribute to people getting sick?

There have been no positive results for bacteria or other harmful agents in water quality samples. The water supply did not fail, rather it was deemed non-compliant with the testing regime.This is because during peak population periods a higher number of samples is required to be taken than during off-peak periods. Our Council has now successfully argued that this higher number of samples is not required for the few weeks of peak population. Also, if a sample is not taken within the mandated timeframe, then the water supply is deemed non-compliant. Sometimes our water service contractors are responding to urgent water supply issues, such as emergency repairs to leaks, and are unable to take a sample within the mandated timeframe. All of these can mean a water supply system is deemed non-compliant.

2 - How is the drinking water at Pauanui tested at the moment? Are there plans to improve the testing? There is a testing regime mandated by the Drinking Water Standards. Samples are taken at the source, at the treatment plant and randomly throughout the distribution network. Testing requirements are population-based and can be found in the DWS available on the Ministry of Health website. Additional testing is not required.

3 - What is Council doing to improve water quality standards at Pauanui?

We have completed a $300,000 project to reconfigure the bores in Pauanui so that water from them is pumped through a cartridge filter unit in Gallagher Park and then to the Gallagher Park reservoir. As demand dictates, the water is then pumped through a UV disinfectino unit to the reticulation. Enclosures have been built around the bore heads to reduce the risk of contaminants entering from the surface and the bores can now be flushed before the water enters the system. Water flow and turbidity can now be monitored continuously and contaminants such as silt, sand and protozoa can be monitored and removed.

The bore field now has:

  • Greater bore head security
  • The ability to flush the bores prior to use
  • All the bore water passing through a cartridge filter
  • Flow and turbidity monitored continuously
  • The capability to be operated remotely