Resort working hard to install UV treatment

Work is continuing at pace — "contractors carrying out jobs in weeks which usually take months" — to install equipment at water treatment plants in Queenstown with hope the boil water notice will be lifted in just under four weeks.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council said in a release yesterday it had been working at pace to install UV treatment at its Two Mile water treatment plant in tandem with similar plants in the district that do not have such systems in place to protect against protozoa such as cryptosporidium.

Work to design, procure, obtain consent for and commission a protozoa barrier at Two Mile had been ongoing since national water regulator Taumata Arowai issued council with a compliance order on September 20 following a local outbreak of illness caused by cryptosporidium.

Council property and infrastructure general manager Tony Avery said installing the barrier itself was only one part of the overall project.

"We’ll also be cleaning and flushing the entire network supplied by Two Mile. This is a significant, one-off undertaking outside of normal business and something we’ve been planning alongside work at the treatment plant itself," he said.

It will include draining and cleaning Fernhill number one reservoir as well as cleaning and inspecting all other network reservoirs. The piped network will also be flushed.

"It’s still really important that people in affected areas keep boiling their water. In addition, we ask that everyone including commuters and visitors from other parts of the district maintain good personal hygiene."

Mr Avery said the container that will hold the UV system is already on-site at the Two Mile plant.

"This will be a temporary system that, along with successful cleaning and flushing, will meet all requirements of the compliance order in the fastest possible time.

"We remain on track to have UV treatment up and running at Two Mile in line with our original estimated date of December 8.

"We continue to work positively with the regulator to ensure residents, visitors and businesses in affected parts of Queenstown can return to normal water usage as soon as possible, targeting the week of December 11."

Work will start this week on the Western Wānaka water intake and will include a temporary realignment of the lakeside Millennium Track.

There was no need for people in the Upper Clutha, Frankton or other neighbourhoods outside the current area under the notice to boil water.

Mr Avery said it was a major project for council’s infrastructure, legal and planning staff as well as contractors Fulton Hogan and Veolia.

"They are completing work in weeks that would typically take many months. We also continue to acknowledge the patience and resilience being shown by individuals and businesses in the affected areas."

A boil water notice remains in the following areas: Queenstown town centre, Gorge Rd out to and including Industrial Place, Fernhill, Sunshine Bay; and Queenstown Hill above Frankton Rd out to and including Goldridge Way and Goldrush Way.