Chlorination a hot topic for council call centre

Nearly 1000 inquiries have been received about the chlorination of the city’s water supply since it started in March.

Between March 26 and last month, the city council had received 326 inquiries from the public about the issue through its customer services team.

It received another 631 through the Three Waters Chlorine hotline, five of which triggered the formal complaints process.

Inquiries are only considered complaints when the city council has had a chance to rectify the situation, but had not.

The inquiries ranged from smell or taste issues, stomach or intestinal problems, discoloured water and requests for information on the well head restoration programme.

The information, released under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, said inquiries could include feedback, comments, requests for service or formal complaints.

A city council spokesman said it was to hard to say whether it was the highest number of complaints or inquiries it had received about a certain topic.

City councillors voted in January to temporarily chlorinate the water for up to a year to reduce the risk of contamination while 103 below ground wellheads were repaired.

In May, the city council said it would reduce the levels of chlorine put into the water after mass outrage about the taste and smell.

They did not include the number of complaints and inquiries posted on social media, or those received by the city’s elected officials.

But city councillors told The Star it was probably the source
of most complaints they received.

City councillor Mike Davidson said it was a real hot topic, and most of the inquiries and complaints he got from the public about it came via email.

“I would say chlorination would be the biggest topic I get complaints about,” he said.

City councillor Jamie Gough said: “Every day, I get complaints every day from my wife and everyone around me.”

“But it’s a means to an end in getting the chlorine out of our water.”