Reported Water Quality Issues - July 2017

Update from 01/08/2017

Hokitika’s Water Treatment Plant Issue Identified

After two weeks of extensive investigations, Westland District Council can confirm that water quality issues first identified by residents on Tuesday 18th July were due to higher than normal levels of Aluminium Chlorohydrate (ACH) in the water supply.

ACH is normally used by the Council as part of the water treatment process when water is drawn from the Hokitika River, however, the mechanisms around how extra ACH ended up in the water supply still remain unclear. Since the Council became aware that ACH could be a factor in the reported water quality incidents cited by residents, the river intake was not used to supply water to the Hokitika town supply.

The Council notified colleagues from the Ministry of Health on Tuesday 18th July about water quality concerns as a proactive measure, and has been working proactively with them since this time to ensure the health of Hokitika residents.

Hokitika’s water reticulation system has since been well flushed and latest tests show that ACH levels are well within Guideline levels.

David Inwood, Group Manager for District Assets, says “We are now back to normal operations.”


Update from 25/07/2017

Message to Hokitika residents who have logged service requests recently regarding water quality:

Our customer service team will be checking in with you over the next 1-2 days to see how things are going and whether anything has changed for you and your water situation since you first contacted us. Please wait for us to contact you, rather than respond to this notification, as it is important that we collate and update all the information in the same place.

If you haven't received a follow up call by the end of Thursday you can either phone us direct on 03 756 9010 or send us an inbox message on Facebook and we will ensure that we make contact with you.


Update from 24/07/2017

Update to Hokitika residents regarding water (as at 6:25pm Monday 24th July, 2017)

Our investigations are ongoing and results of our water samples are still pending. We have stressed with the laboratory that we need these as soon as possible.

We can confirm that there is no presence of E-coli in either our water treatment plant or water reticulation system (this has been tested for separately).

Our water treatment process has not changed recently and no new chemical treatments have been added to the water supply. Issues with unusual texture or appearance of water are not due to a new method of water treatment or the introduction of chemicals.

Please continue to check our Facebook page or website for updates. We understand that you want this issue resolved as soon as possible, however, we cannot take corrective action until we are sure what the problem is.

Thank you to those of you who have logged service requests. This is a huge help and gives us a much better understanding of your individual water situations. If you have yet to log a service request, you can still do so by phoning our Customer Service Team on 03 756 9010


Update from 20/07/2017

Update to all Hokitika residents regarding water supply:

There is no known contaminant or bug in our water supply that we are aware of. We have independent water experts monitoring our water plant 24/7 at present until we can determine what the situation is.

If you are concerned, please take whatever steps you feel are necessary to protect your whanau. This might include drinking bottled water if you feel this would put your mind at ease.

If your household's water supply is affected, please can you ensure that you log a service request with our Customer Service team by phoning us on 03 756 9010. This is very important as it enables us to get more specific information from you, and keep a record of it in our system so we can provide a better service.

We do acknowledge your concerns and our District Assets team are working hard with the assistance of external contractors, independent water experts and others in the community to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.


Update from 19/07/2017

Westland District Council is continuing its investigations today into reports of ‘waxy water’.

Acting Group Manager for District Assets, David Inwood, says “We do understand that people are concerned and we want to get to the bottom of this as soon as we can to put people’s minds at ease.”

Westland District Council carried out water sampling yesterday and additional samples have been taken today for analysis. Mr Inwood says, “Until we get the results of our samples back, it would be imprudent to speculate as to a potential cause. We are, however, working proactively with local groups and contractors. We endeavour to keep the public fully informed as further information becomes available.”


Update from 18/07/2017

We are aware that some people have raised concerns about water quality in general North Hokitika area. We are currently investigating this. If you are worried, as a precaution you can boil your water. 

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Bunt, Strategy and Communications Advisor
03 756 9082 -