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Glurp
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Topic # 201416 17-Aug-2016 15:12
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I have been following the contaminated water crisis in Havelock North with interest, as I live not too far away. Fortunately we are not affected, as we are not in the immediate area and we are supplied from a private spring anyway. 

 

While reading up on the latest in our local paper, I was struck by an interesting thought. This is also a major region from which bottled water destined for China is sourced. It is not the same water and it is not the same source, but it is the same Hawke's Bay, never mind Hastings, which is closely associated with the bottling and is also responsible for Havelock North's water. There is a lot of high-priced demand in China for clean green New Zealand consumables and I have to wonder what this latest news is doing to that bottled water market. After all the bad PR around Fontera and now this, they must surely be starting to wonder just how clean and green we actually are.   

 

 





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  Reply # 1613303 17-Aug-2016 15:15
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they must surely be starting to wonder just how clean and green we actually are.

 

 

 

 

Well, it could turn out to be cow poop, in which case at least we're still 'green.'





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  Reply # 1613304 17-Aug-2016 15:21
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SaltyNZ:

 

 

they must surely be starting to wonder just how clean and green we actually are.

 

 

 

 

Well, it could turn out to be cow poop, in which case at least we're still 'green.'

 

 

 

 

I think if you were in Havelock North you would be very green right now tongue-outmoney-mouth





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  Reply # 1613322 17-Aug-2016 15:55
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A brick caused a similar problem in Queenstown years ago

 

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311157/havelock-north-outbreak-a-drop-in-the-bucket

 

 




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  Reply # 1613370 17-Aug-2016 17:32
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Perhaps, but why else do they buy our water when they have plenty of their own? Even in China it is not all polluted. What they are buying is the image, nothing else. 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1613372 17-Aug-2016 17:53
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Given the opposition to the bottling of Hawkes Bay water. which is then shipped off to China with very little financial gain to the region, I don't think too many will be that upset.  


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  Reply # 1613475 17-Aug-2016 21:52
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It's long past time local councils were stripped of their role in water supply. They are far too parochial and a more national water supply strategy would make a lot of sense.

 

Last year, our local council allowed the town reservoirs to run dry in the middle of a drought because they apparently did not consider weekly manual checking of the levels to be worthwhile....

 

I used to work for a very large water and sewage company (we supplied 6 million customers in over 70 Parliamentary constituencies) and if we had ever allowed this sort of thing to happen, I can only guess at the magnitude of the financial penalty that the company would have been hit with, as well as the huge compensation bill.

 

Just looking at our local infrastructure, it is so basic and so behind the times that I am amazed that there are not more water quality issues all the time.

 

I recall being surprised when I toured a new $10 million water treatment works that one of the systems for monitoring the quality of what was going into supply was...trout. Yes, there was a tank with 3 trout in, through which a live sample of the supply feed ran. Apparently (who knew?) trout are very sensitive to water quality and by measuring the tiny electric currents generated, they could monitor the stress of the fish and it was apparently one of the fastest ways to get live warning of contamination etc.








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  Reply # 1613700 18-Aug-2016 12:14
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Now the contamination has spread to the tankers bringing in 'clean' water and all of Hastings is to be chlorinated.  http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311258/whole-of-hastings-water-supply-now-being-chlorinated

 

I really have to wonder what those Chinese water bottlers are thinking now, especially after they just built a plant. I guess you really do get what you pay for.

 

 





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  Reply # 1613771 18-Aug-2016 14:47
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Rikkitic:

Now the contamination has spread to the tankers bringing in 'clean' water and all of Hastings is to be chlorinated.  http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311258/whole-of-hastings-water-supply-now-being-chlorinated


I really have to wonder what those Chinese water bottlers are thinking now, especially after they just built a plant. I guess you really do get what you pay for.


 



The tanker in question received a positive "indicator test" of which about 70% turn out to be a false positive. For a reliable test I think you have to grow a culture in a lab which takes a day or two.

Even if it does come back positive the source would likely be the tanker as Hastings water comes from much deeper bores into the Heretaunga Aquifier.

The big error here may well be the use of such a shallow (20m) bore in Havelock North. Pumping at high rates (20l/s wouldn't be uncommon) creates a significant underground pressure differential and the potential is for surface contamination to work it's way down and into the system.

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  Reply # 1613781 18-Aug-2016 15:09
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This:

 

Rappelle: New Zealand being 'clean and green' is rubbish. They'd be fools to think otherwise.

 

 

 

and this:

 

Lastman: The big error here may well be the use of such a shallow (20m) bore

 

 

 

We are 'clean and green' here by virtue of not stuffing up what was already here yet, rather than anything we're actively doing on mass.  Much/most of our streams are not safe to drink straight from anymore.  Many of our rivers are technically not safe to swim in. 

 

 

 

It's a bold council who declares their 'secure' bore safe without very regular checks, especially if it's that shallow.  Chlorination is a cost and an inconvenience, but it sure does have it's place in times like this.  Even if you self treat your kitchen tap etc, you still shower and brush your teeth unsecured. 

As with everything in New Zealand, it's not an issue really, right up until it is.


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  Reply # 1613783 18-Aug-2016 15:12
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Rikkitic:

 

Now the contamination has spread to the tankers bringing in 'clean' water and all of Hastings is to be chlorinated.  http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311258/whole-of-hastings-water-supply-now-being-chlorinated

 

I really have to wonder what those Chinese water bottlers are thinking now, especially after they just built a plant. I guess you really do get what you pay for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonder if they could claim compo for any loss in business caused by it? This is exactly the reason why it should be metered for everyone, so it covers costs, and there aren't any third parties taking their cut from it. If people want free water, they can create their own storage for it from rainwater. Some new subdivisions are infact now requiring people put in rainwater collection tanks as part of their covernant, which is a good thing, although it makes council services more redundant. 


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  Reply # 1613791 18-Aug-2016 15:23
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Jaxson:

This:



Lastman: The big error here may well be the use of such a shallow (20m) bore


 


We are 'clean and green' here by virtue of not stuffing up what was already here yet, rather than anything we're actively doing on mass.  Much/most of our streams are not safe to drink straight from anymore.  Many of our rivers are technically not safe to swim in. 


 


It's a bold council who declares their 'secure' bore safe without very regular checks, especially if it's that shallow.  Chlorination is a cost and an inconvenience, but it sure does have it's place in times like this.  Even if you self treat your kitchen tap etc, you still shower and brush your teeth unsecured. 

As with everything in New Zealand, it's not an issue really, right up until it is.



At the heart of most of these crises (leaky buildings et al), someone will have made a dumb decision that won't have been adequately scrutinized. I don't see it as a clean/ green issue, just an engineering one.

It made me laugh that several of the Havelock North city councillors posted a newspaper add shortly after it happened saying " this isn't good enough, we've been let down by the the council"... hang on, you ARE the council, do you mean you didn't have an intimate knowledge of where your water came from?

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  Reply # 1613793 18-Aug-2016 15:27
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mattwnz:

 

Rikkitic:

 

Now the contamination has spread to the tankers bringing in 'clean' water and all of Hastings is to be chlorinated.  http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311258/whole-of-hastings-water-supply-now-being-chlorinated

 

I really have to wonder what those Chinese water bottlers are thinking now, especially after they just built a plant. I guess you really do get what you pay for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonder if they could claim compo for any loss in business caused by it? This is exactly the reason why it should be metered for everyone, so it covers costs, and there aren't any third parties taking their cut from it. If people want free water, they can create their own storage for it from rainwater. Some new subdivisions are infact now requiring people put in rainwater collection tanks as part of their covernant, which is a good thing, although it makes council services more redundant. 

 

 

 

 

We have the town supply main crossing our back paddock and do pay rates for water to the council. However, our house is not connected - only the garden hose.

 

Our water comes from the roof. When we moved here, there was just a pump and no filtration at all. Given the surrounding viticulture and so on, along with regular aerial fertiliser application within sight and copper application on the olive grove etc it struck me as frankly mad not to have had some protection for the drinking water supply.

 

We installed cartridge filtration and UV treatment.

 

Usually no more than once a year we have so little water in the tank that I throw the hose in and fill it from the main (which I am paying for).






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  Reply # 1613808 18-Aug-2016 16:07
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Geektastic:

 

a more national water supply strategy would make a lot of sense.

 

....

 

I recall being surprised when I toured a new $10 million water treatment works that one of the systems for monitoring the quality of what was going into supply was...trout. Yes, there was a tank with 3 trout in, through which a live sample of the supply feed ran. Apparently (who knew?) trout are very sensitive to water quality and by measuring the tiny electric currents generated, they could monitor the stress of the fish and it was apparently one of the fastest ways to get live warning of contamination etc.

 

 

We have national drinking water standards which councils and any premises using water in the production of food for exports have to comply with.

 

I can't remember all the detail (10 years ago). From memory the standards are lower for small populations.

 

But .... we (food factory) had to filter our water to something like 25 microns and undertake regular micro sampling. My recollection is that chemical treatment wasn't compulsory (as long as micro standards were being met) and we didn't ever have to use chlorine. 

 

Micro sampling was always negative. 

 

Generally you test frequently for E coli. and actual pathogens less frequently and any-time you get positive E coli. 

 

Not all E coli is pathogenic (although there are some very nasty strains). It's considered an indicator of faecal contamination as it is found in the intestines of warm blooded animals.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1613835 18-Aug-2016 16:52
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What Mike said resonates with what's been on the news... it appears that the HDC was NOT chlorinating the water from all its bores, presumably because they had acceptably low levels of E coli. And suddenly there's a Campylobacteriosis outbreak, and it seems they've narrowed the source down to a particular bore or group of bores, which they're now chlorinating. The suggestion was made that an improperly constructed bore could be the source of the contamination.

 

I'll throw in another possibility... if there is excessive water drawn from an aquifer, the water pressure in the aquifer decreases, potentially to the point where water (and contaminants) from the surface can get down into the aquifer. This excessive draw might not be from the bore that lets in the contamination... it may be a nearby bore. A scary thought is that the contamination may be happening miles upstream from the bore where it is detected. I wonder how long Campylobacter, etc can survive in underground water systems?

 

Incidentally, about a quarter to a half of NZ animals and birds are infected with Campylobacter. In the UK, 100% of poultry is infected.

 

 


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  Reply # 1613859 18-Aug-2016 17:00
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frankv:

 

What Mike said resonates with what's been on the news... it appears that the HDC was NOT chlorinating the water from all its bores, presumably because they had acceptably low levels of E coli. And suddenly there's a Campylobacteriosis outbreak, and it seems they've narrowed the source down to a particular bore or group of bores, which they're now chlorinating. The suggestion was made that an improperly constructed bore could be the source of the contamination.

 

I'll throw in another possibility... if there is excessive water drawn from an aquifer, the water pressure in the aquifer decreases, potentially to the point where water (and contaminants) from the surface can get down into the aquifer. This excessive draw might not be from the bore that lets in the contamination... it may be a nearby bore. A scary thought is that the contamination may be happening miles upstream from the bore where it is detected. I wonder how long Campylobacter, etc can survive in underground water systems?

 

Incidentally, about a quarter to a half of NZ animals and birds are infected with Campylobacter. In the UK, 100% of poultry is infected.

 

 

 

 

I've heard scary things about chicken here too - always make sure you cook it real well.  I trended more towards lamb these days.


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