Norsewood water project update

04 March 2024

Council would like to express thanks to the Norsewood Community for attending the public meeting held on February 19th about the local water supply. The feedback gathered plays an important role in assisting Council’s efforts to resolve issues related to discolouration, sedimentation, and reticulation condition.

Council wants to assure residents that health and safety remains a top priority.  Despite the visible discolouration and sediment, the treated water is safe for consumption and water samples are taken twice a week in line with Taumata Arowai Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules.

The water discoloration itself is a result of high levels of manganese and iron residues in Norsewood’s bore water. Treatment with chlorine triggers a reaction with these elements, which leads to the discolouration and creates sediment.

Council is currently working on solutions to reduce discolouration and upgrade the water treatment plant and storage. This includes installing a specialised iron and manganese filter, and adding an extra 30,000 litre tank to the current 90,000 litre water storage.

Over the last two years, Council has been looking into alternate water sources, including piping in water from Dannevirke which has turned out to be too expensive and complex to be feasible.

Although originally scheduled for completion before Christmas, thorough analysis of technical data, and sourcing the right equipment has caused delays. In addition, a lot of effort has been put into identifying a suitable supplier that can give guarantees for the purchased equipment and its installation.

Council greatly appreciates the community’s patience as we work towards a suitable solution for the community, and are committed to keeping the community well informed through this process.

To conserve water, Norsewood remains under alternate evening restrictions for activities like garden watering and water usage with sprinklers, hoses, and water blasting allowed only on alternate evenings. Further updates will be provided once dates for the water treatment upgrades are confirmed, and Council is continuing to explore ways to support the community until the new plant is installed.