Pareora Township - Nitrate Issue Resolving

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Published: 20 Sep 2022

Update 20/9/22  4.15pm

Pareora Township Water Nitrate Issue Resolving
The latest results from our water nitrate testing are showing that the water being supplied to Pareora Township customers is now back within the Drinking Water Standards, so is now suitable for drinking once again.
Results from tests on the bore from last Monday have shown a reasonable drop in levels of nitrates to under the Maximum Allowed Values, and the supplementation of water from the wider Downlands scheme has reduced this further.
The tests take a number of days to show a result, and we are confident the elevated levels were related the extreme weather, so we're expecting that the tests this week will show a further drop.
The time lag in tests also means that compliant water has been getting delivered to your tanks for more than a week now, so the water in your tanks should be compliant.
Now that the water is back to within the drinking water standards we will be removing the water tanker in the next few days.
We apologise for this inconvenience, it involved matters outwith our control, but we worked hard to get a resolution as quickly as we could.
We'll post a note in town again, but please pass this message onto anyone you know in the town.

Update 12/9/22  - 3pm

Pareora Update 12/9/22

We are working hard to resolve this issue, but please continue to use the tanker water for drinking until further notice, this includes pets.

Our team have been working over the weekend to bring water from the wider Downlands scheme to dilute the nitrate levels in the water to below the amount allowed in the standards.

While we can supplement the Pareora scheme with Downlands water, the population of the town is too large for us to use it as a sole source.

Nitrate testing takes a few days, so we should know if this is having a positive effect late this week/early next week.

We are still to identify a definitive source for the unusual spike in nitrate levels. The heavy rainfall over the last few months has most likely contributed to it, with the mobilisation and flushing of nitrates from land and soils into the groundwater.

Providing safe drinking water is our priority and we’re continuing to work on resolving this issue as quickly as we can.

Pareora Township - High Nitrate in Water Warning

Recent testing of the raw water for Pareora Township has shown high nitrates with both Nitrate-Nitrogen and Nitrate in exceedance of their Maximum Acceptable Values.

This is not something we have previously experienced for the Pareora Township water supply.

  • - The Nitrate-Nitrogen level was 14.0 (the maximum allowed value is 11.3)
  • - The Nitrate level was 62 (the maximum allowed value is 50)

The water is not safe to be used for drinking water at this time, and is of particular risk to pregnant women, young children (e.g. including bottle-fed infants) and immune-compromised persons. Boiling the water will not remove high levels of nitrates.

A water tanker is now available at 8 Elworthy Street beside the former Pareora Community Hall. This will remain in place until the issue has resolved itself.

We will be retesting this sample to ensure it is accurate, and will be undertaking regular testing until this issue is resolved. Everyone in Pareora will have this information hand delivered to them tomorrow. Please share this message with anyone you know in the Pareora Township.

We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. We will have updates on the Timaru District Council website and facebook when they are available.

NOTE: This issue is solely affecting the Pareora Township, not the Pareora source that supplies Timaru City, nor any of our other water supplies.

Last updated: 20 Sep 2022