City Council tracking source of water contamination in Ilam
9 March 2003
Some property owners in the Ilam area of Christchurch have noticed a kerosene-like
smell and taste in their water supply.
It was first noticed on Friday evening (7 March) and by mid-morning
Sunday the Council had heard from people at 14 properties about the contamination.
As soon as the first complaints were received Council staff flushed the
reticulation in the area and advised the effected property owners to flush
their piping by running a garden tap.
The properties effected are in a strip north from Blenheim Road
to Creyke Road, in the blocks bounded by Middleton Road and Hansons Lane
and Ilam and Waimairi roads.
Mike Bourke, the Council’s City Water and Waste operations and maintenance
manager, says the contamination cause is not yet known, but staff are thoroughly
investigating all possible sources. Samples have been taken for analysis
but the results are not expected until later this week.
If anyone notices an unusual or unpleasant taste in the water they
should contact the Council immediately on 941 8302,” he says.
The City Council occasionally receives complaints about a taste
or odour in the water supply system. These are usually to do with new water-main
construction or maintenance or from the taste and smell of chlorine used
to disinfect the water after maintenance.
We’re fortunate in Christchurch to have a very high quality source
of water that does not need chlorine disinfection like other cities,” Mr
Bourke says, “although when maintenance of the system is undertaken
chlorine is added at that point in the system to eliminate any public health
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