No date yet for water upgrade

Twizel residents still do not know when the township will have a water supply that will comply with New Zealand drinking water standards.

An Opus report released earlier this week recommended the Mackenzie District Council upgrade the township's existing water source at a cost of $3.6 million, rather than continue with efforts to locate a new source.

Council chief executive Wayne Barnett said the council had now decided on ''further investigation'' of the existing source before it committed to a time frame for upgrading the water supply.

''So the point of that is that previously we were considering other sources and they have instructed us to concentrate on the existing source.''

Mr Barnett said because the council had also resolved that treatment options available for the existing water source should be investigated, he could not say when upgrade work might start or how much it would cost.

''We are obviously working through that to determine what the costs will be and reporting back to council on what the implications may be.''

The council had proposed in its recent draft annual plan for 2013-14 to spend between $2.1 million and $5.6 million to either upgrade the township's water source, from a bore next to the Fraser Stream, or create a bore 3km to the west, near Ben Ohau Station.

However, tests bores at Ben Ohau revealed that a costly treatment plant would be needed to remove iron and manganese, if it was to be used as the township's water supply.

As a result, the recent Opus report stated that an upgrade of the township's 40-year-old water supply was the most effective and cheapest option available to the council.

The annual plan, which included a rate rise of more than 8% in Twizel to pay for work needed to upgrade the water supply, was adopted earlier this year.


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