Water 'like cold tea' - beach resident

Brown tap water OK, residents told

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 17/01/2014
Christina Paton
DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ

WATER WOES: Foxton Beach resident Christina Paton says her tap water has been discoloured for months.

Foxton Beach water
A-GRADE: The discoloured tap water.

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A Foxton Beach resident describes her tap water as looking "like cold tea" but Horowhenua District Council maintains nothing is wrong with the town's supply.

Christina Paton said the water from her taps had been brown and gritty for several months. She refused to drink it and only did her washing when she knew rain was on its way so the clothes would get a rinse on the washing line.

The problems had started when the council tried to improve the water supply last year.

"Late in 2013 [the council] decided to scour the pipes and they told us we would be on A-grade water and there's been nothing but problems ever since," she said.

Horowhenua District Council operations manager Glen O'Connor said the council had no concerns about water quality at Foxton Beach.

The council had received complaints from several residents about their water in the past several weeks, he said, and in each case the house was visited.

"A low number of properties assessed have had discoloured water, however after running a household tap for five to 15 minutes the discolouration is no longer present."

Mr O'Connor said the council had carried out extensive testing of both its treatment plant in Foxton Beach and the reticulation network and no issues with either had been identified.

He said anyone with concerns should run their tap for up to 15 minutes and if there was still an issue they should contact the council.

Mrs Paton said it did not matter how long she ran the tap for, the problems with her water did not dissipate. Council staff who had visited her house had told her the water contained "vegetative matter" that she believed had been dislodged when the pipes were scoured.

She was unhappy about having to run her taps every day to try to get clean water, both because it was a waste of water and because Foxton Beach's properties were metered and so her water rates would increase.

Horowhenua district councillor Michael Feyen said councillors had been told Foxton Beach had A-grade water. While that might be true at the treatment plant, he did not think the water coming from many residents' taps was A-grade.

Not only was discolouration an issue but some people reported a "stench" from the water and others said it smelled heavily of chlorine.

"Either problems aren't being sorted out properly at the source or there's stuff either getting in the pipes or growing in the pipes.

"If we've got A-grade water we don't have an A-grade infrastructure to distribute the water."

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- Manawatu Standard

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