Richmond water to be chlorine free again


The chlorine is set to be turned off this week at the Richmond water treatment plant after a bird was found to be the cause of the contamination when it found it’s way into the plant’s workings earlier this month.

The Tasman District Council says the bird was removed and a surge tank fully drained with no other contamination found.

From the inside of the tank, several small holes were seen in the wall-roof join. These were filled in order to prevent any future contamination.

The Council received numerous complaints about the taste and odour of the chlorine in their water. The level used was very low, similar to other chlorinated water schemes such as Brightwater and Wakefield and provided more than enough protection for residents.

The Council says as the Richmond water supply has not been chlorinated before, the taste and odour was new to residents.  It was initially worse as the chlorine reacted with organic material which naturally accumulates in pipes in unchlorinated supplies.

The water is safe to drink and when the chlorine is switched off the water should be back to tasting great again.

Due to the complexity of the plant, risks were identified and mitigations were put in place, including a testing regime and commissioning period during the design stage of the new plant.

The plant has a three-month trial operation period to resolve any issues that may arise before it is handed over to the Council.

Council say while any contamination is a concern the commissioning period and the steps put in place to avert any risk to users have proven to be successful.

The water supply leaving the Richmond Water Treatment Plant is tested every day and at the reservoirs several times a week. Tests are carried out by the Cawthron Institute.