QLDC silent on potential water fix delays

by Kim Bowden - Dec 06, 2023

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has been unable to provide Crux with a progress report on a fix to bring its Two Mile water treatment plant up to standard.

The clock is ticking on a deadline provided by the council for the lifting of the months-long boil water notice for thousands of households and businesses in central Queenstown.

But, for now, the council is not telling Crux whether it looks set to meet that deadline.

Last month council infrastructure boss Tony Avery indicated the council was on track to install the vital UV treatment equipment by Friday, December 8 - just two days away - with the lifting of the boil water directive expected not long after.

On Monday, Crux asked the council for an update on the work. We asked again yesterday, and today, but questions remain unanswered to date.

This morning, an area was coned off around the Two Mile facility, which is located close to Lake Whakatipu, the source of central Queenstown's drinking water.

A digger and flat deck truck were onsite, as well as at least six construction workers in high-viz, one of whom was directing walkers on the Sunshine Bay Track.

It's a no-go zone at Queenstown's Two Mile water treatment facility, where a new UV filter is expected to be installed by Friday.

The contractors declined to talk to Crux.

A piece of kit designed to filter water using UV light is expected to be installed at the site, for a total cost of $1.4 million, with the council banking on it meeting national water regulator Taumata Arowai's criteria for compliance, giving tap water the all-clear.

In an earlier update, Mr Avery also advised a large reservoir at Fernhill would be drained and cleaned and pipes connected to the drinking water supply flushed, in the fight to rid the network of any potential lingering traces of cryptosporidium.

This week Crux has asked for information on whether this work is complete and went to plan. These questions also remain unanswered.

An investigation by Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora found contamination of the drinking water supply to be the likely cause of a cryptosporidium outbreak in Queenstown.

Since September visitors, residents and workers have had to boil for at least a minute any tap water to be used for cooking, drinking, or cleaning teeth.

The boil water notice remains in place.

Read more: QLDC uses cheaper, less effective UV option in drinking water 'quick fix'


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