10 months ago

Selwyn Times: October 18, 2016

12 Tuesday

12 Tuesday October 18 2016 Your Local Views SELWYN TIMES HAVE YOUR SAY: Email us your views on chlorination and businesses operating without consent – Cost of safe drinking water Hororata- Acheron water supply committee chairman Gavin King writes about the benefits of chlorinating water To chlorinate or not to chlorinate our water supplies. When asking people where their water comes from, sometimes the answer is “out of the tap.” It’s got to get in the tap before it comes out. I have been involved with the Hororata-Acheron water supply for many years, both as a user of the water and, since 1986, on the water supply committee and, in recent years, chairman. The Hororata-Acheron water supply delivers water to a wide area from the Acheron River, east of Lake Coleridge, to the Rakaia River and down to Ardlui Rd and to the true right of the Selwyn River. We supply Terrace Downs and Hororata Village. It was built in 1981/82 to replace ageing water races and deliver water to farms and rural houses and villages. In those days, the Government subsidised the build. Off-farm build cost was paid by the Government and users – 50/50. Also on-farm build cost was paid 50 per cent by the Government and 50 per cent by farmers. Today you would not get a cent from the Government. The people at the time were wise, proceeding with the build when they did. Initially, the water supply was chlorinated and this was done for health reasons, mainly to kill any E. coli and bad bacteria that might have been floating around in the water. Over the early years, people complained about the chlorine taste and also some farmers said livestock would not drink it. My opinion is livestock drink when they are thirsty, chlorine or no chlorine. In the late 1980s, the squeaky wheel got the better of the committee and we installed UV filter treatment in the water supply and turned the chlorinators off. That worked well, we hardly ever tested the water – people used the water and did not complain. The livestock were happy, they complained when there was no water. The Hororata-Acheron water supply is administered by the district council. Since about 2012, the district council has been testing the water regularly for E. coli. Occasionally E. coli was found and then a boil water notice would be sent out to everyone at a cost of $1800 each time. This happened several times. Because of the cost of boil water notices and the possibility of people becoming ill, we have installed new chlorinators. Since installing chlorinators we have not had a positive E. coli reading. What we are saving on the boil water notices has paid for the chlorinators, the water tastes good and the livestock drink it without any complaint. It would be good to not add anything to the water, but the reality is there is a risk of something happening like in Havelock North recently. We need to keep our water drinkable with no risk of illness. We owe this to our ratepayers and the public. The chlorinators are here to stay. Hororata-Acheron water is excellent and very drinkable. Hamptons Rd residents Rod and Glenys Gard’ner respond to the recent granting of resource consent to Paul’s Excavation Services for a contractors’ yard on Leadleys Rd (pictured) after the company had operated at the site for several years without consent As someone who has resided in the Selwyn district for the past 45 years, I am dismayed at the decision of the district council in granting permission for this contractor to undertake his activities. This gripe is not against Mr Paul but the district council, who have displayed as much backbone as a jellyfish in back tracking with this consent. They couldn’t even make the decision themselves but had to hide behind an independent commissioner to do their job for them. As residents, we cannot subdivide our property, even if we wanted to. Yet it seems that it is possible to start up an industrial activity on rural land and then, over time, it will be acceptable. Already recently we have seen a transport business operating from a property in the area; another, a drainlayer who has commenced operations out of another property, certainly spread over more than 4000 sq m; and now we have a young guy who wants to set up a motocross track. I feel for the residents of Leadleys Rd. Seems there is one rule for the industry in Selwyn and another for the residents. I would like the district council to respond and to outline what protection rural landowners have from the spread of these types of activity. THE HOME OF GOOD BAKING PREMIUM BREAD White, wholemeal, grain & honey. 3 FOR $ 5 00 GINGER SLICE A full-flavoured slice just like you’d make at home - if there was no Coupland’s! 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