Ross residents rejecting tap water

Ross residents are opting to buy or source their own water rather than drink from the tap due to the chlorine added after the town water supply was contaminated in a mining botch-up two months ago.

The main creek feeding the town water catchment had to be shut off at the start of August after a slip fell into the waterway. The town has since faced daily water restrictions.

Biddy Manera said a lot of people were getting their own water in due to the taste and smell of the chlorine being used by the Westland District Council to flush the system.

"Some days you can be in the shower using a perfumed soap and you can still smell the chlorine," Ms Manera said.

"It doesn't happen all the time but it happens frequently enough to be off-putting."

Tap water also left an "unpleasant" aftertaste.

Meanwhile, the West Coast Regional Council is mum over its investigation into the Texas-owned goldmining company, Elect Mining Ltd, responsible for the contamination.

"We are going through the normal process in investigating this incident according to our enforcement policy," chief executive Mike Meehan said yesterday.

A final visit to the Mount Greenland site where Elect Mining had been carrying out allegedly unpermitted earthworks that caused the slip into Minehan Creek, was expected last month.

The Westland District Council is seeking reparation from the mining company for its part in subsequently damaging membranes at the Ross water treatment plant.

In an update last month, district assets group manager David Inwood said they had three options to remedy the plant - a new chemical wash, replacement of the damaged membranes or retrofitting new plant equipment which could cost as much as $350,000.

Efforts have also been made to filtrate and clean the water at the catchment.

- By Janna Sherman of the Hokitika Guardian

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