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Published 12/04/2017

Chlorine added to water in Lower Hutt

People in Lower Hutt who normally receive unchlorinated drinking water may notice a slight smell and taste of chlorine in their water from this afternoon.

As part of the routine water testing carried out on water from the Waterloo wellfield (Lower Hutt), a sample from a bore in the wellfield has returned a positive e-coli result.

It is important to note that this test is an indicator test and further testing is required to confirm any contamination. While this further testing is being carried out, chlorine will be added to the water supply for Lower Hutt as a precautionary measure. We’ll continue to chlorinate the water until we have clearance from Regional Public Health.

Other water quality tests taken at the same time have returned negative results.

Wellington Water advises that water already in pipes is safe to drink.

The public artesian wells at Buick Street in Petone, and Dowse Square in central Lower Hutt remain open as a source of unchlorinated drinking water.

[UPDATED 5.30PM 13/04/17 As a precautionary measure, the public artesian wells at Buick Street and Dowse Square have been closed until further notice]

Wellington Water will be carrying out tests on multiple samples from other reservoirs and points in the water network to ensure that the water quality is maintained.

Additional information:

  •  Wellington Water delivers around 140 million litres of safe drinking water to the people of metropolitan Wellington every day.
  • We have a rigorous and thorough testing programme to ensure water is safe to drink.
  • Metropolitan Wellington’s water comes from a secure aquifer, rivers, and, in times of shortage, storage lakes. 
  • Water from the rivers and lakes is chlorinated before delivery. Water from the aquifer usually isn’t chlorinated. 
  • About 70,000 customers in the Lower Hutt receive unchlorinated water supply. From time to time, we need to chlorinate some or all of this supply as a precaution against contamination. Residents of Wainuiomata, Stokes Valley and Manor Park already receive chlorinated water.
  • The Waiwhetu aquifer and our extraction points and network are subject to regular monitoring to ensure water quality. 
  • From time to time, a test will return a positive e-coli result. This does not necessarily mean the water is contaminated. As a precaution, we will always introduce chlorine to part or all of the network after a positive result, until re-tests confirm there is no risk of contamination.
  • Many customers accustomed to a non-chlorinated supply will notice the addition of chlorine to their drinking water.
  • The addition of chlorine to the water as a precaution against contamination does not mean the water needs to be boiled before drinking it.

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