Shannon's water elevated to A grade

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:22 18/03/2014

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The treatment of Shannon's water supply is now a far more complicated process.

But that's to be expected when the water has gone from E grade to A grade thanks to a $3.4 million treatment plant upgrade.

"It was just chlorinated," treatment foreman Marcus Coley said, when asked to explain what used to happen to Shannon's water.

As a result the supply was on a boil water notice for two decades, until this year.

Mr Coley spoke to the Manawatu Standard after the official opening yesterday of the treatment plant, which has been in operation since January.

The plant is between Shannon and the town's water source, the Mangaore River in the Tararua Range. Mr Coley says the source stream is steep, which leads to a lot of dissolved organices in the water.

This cannot be removed by filtration. Instead, the water is treated to solidify the dissolved material so it can be taken out.

The water's pH level is then corrected and the water is chlorinated.

The project was helped by a $2.13m capital works assistance subsidy from the Ministry of Health.

Horowhenua District Council chief executive David Clapperton said water quality recording would be carried out to ensure that the plant is producing A-grade treated water that meets all the relevant New Zealand Drinking Water Standards.

Mr Clapperton says it is expected that the plant's A-grade status will be confirmed by the Ministry of Health early next year.

Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy said: "We sometimes feel that on too many occasions this district is looked down on regarding its water supplies, but we're actually a hell of a lot better than is often acknowledged.

"Shannon's water treatment plant is as good as you'll get anywhere in New Zealand."

Shannon is the first of a series of upgrades to be completed in Horowhenua. Upgrades are almost complete for the Foxton Beach and Foxton supplies.

Construction on a new reservoir for Levin is scheduled for 2014-2015 and upgrades to Tokomaru's supply are scheduled for 2025.

The upgrades have contributed to a series of large rates rises in the district in recent years, included a predicted average increase of 9.9 per cent in the council's recently released draft Annual Plan.

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- Manawatu Standard

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