Horowhenua council lifts boil water notice

by Paul Mitchell, originally posted on February 05, 2017


The boil water notice in Levin has been lifted.

It had been in place since Friday. The Levin Water Treament Plant had been struggling to meet demand and manage the treatment of muddy water from the Ohau River, following heavy rain on Thursday.

The plant system was now recovering and returning to normal, a Horowhenua District Council spokesperson said.

There was now over 50 per cent storage and this was gradually increasing. The water was clean and treated, and there were no issues, he said.

Levin residents hindered by Friday’s boil water notice can take cold comfort in the hopes such disruptions will soon be a thing of the past.

Upgrades to the town’s water treatment plant should mean it can withstand the sort of weather that troubled the system late last week.

Council infrastructure manager Gallo Saidy said upgrades under way on the water plant were scheduled to be finished by the end of March.

​”When completed the plant will be able to manage similar events without the need for any boil water notices.”

MetService forecaster Michael Martens said there had been a prolonged period of heavy rain in the Wellington and Horowhenua regions, lasting from noon Thursday to early Friday morning.

Levin had 48 millimetres of rain dumped on it.

Martens said the heaviest rain came around noon on Thursday, but there was consistently moderate to heavy rainfall the whole time, averaging 3mm per hour.

The Tararua Ranges were the hardest hit with between 140 and 200mm of rainfall, and one weather station in the ranges got 21mm in a single hour.

Martens said a lot of sediment had washed down from the ranges in the deluge, muddying near by water ways, such as the Oahu River which feeds into the Levin water supply.

Whispers Cafe manager Anouska Paul said restaurants and cafes were likely among the most affected by the notice.

The notice had advised hospitality businesses to ensure staff were using hand sanitiser after washing their hands, use commercially made ice, use bottled water for post-mix soft drink machines and ensure coffee machines were boiling water to 100 degrees.

Though the notice was now lifted, businesses would need to ensure they flushed, cleaned and sanitised all equipment with water line connections.

“We’ve just got to be a lot more vigilant to make sure nothing gets missed,” Paul said.

The Avenue Restaurant and Cafe owner Kevin Eriksen said the extra precautions weren’t much of an inconvenience for his staff.

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