Chlorination of water supply to ensure public safety, 1 March 2011 11:15am

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From today, we will begin chlorinating the city’s water supply throughout central Christchurch.

However the public are advised to continue to boil water until further advised.

The decision to chlorinate has been made following infrastructure damage
to sewer and water pipes during the earthquake. Water pressures are still low where we have supply.

Increased water sampling will take place throughout the city, to ensure that safe water continues to be delivered.

The current state of the pipe network cannot be fixed quickly to provide a guarantee of safe potable water. Chlorine is a highly efficient disinfectant, and adding to public water supplies helps to kill disease-causing bacteria that may exist in the water or in transport pipes.

Work will begin today and the public are advised they can expect to start tasting chlorine in water. Chlorine levels will be maintained at the standard levels to those around the world and throughout New Zealand cities. Christchurch has remained the only major city in New Zealand with un-chlorinated water.

The water supply is expected to be chlorinated for a number of months.
However Christchurch is committed to an untreated supply and once Ministry of Health and city engineers are happy that the water supply is secure and wastewater damage is under control, then the decision will be made to remove the chorine from the water and return water levels back to normal.

Chlorination is an issue for anyone on dialysis. A free-phone dialysis helpline is available on 0800 881919.

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