With February traditionally the hottest month of the year, Christchurch City Council is reminding residents to keep doing their bit to save water so it can work to remove chlorine from the city’s water supply as soon as possible.
The Council is aiming for the city’s drinking water to be unchlorinated by May this year, which will mark 12 months since it rolled out chlorine treatment in response to advice from the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health.
Helen Beaumont, the council’s Water Supply Improvement Programme Manager, says achieving the target depends partly on people continuing to use less water so wells can be taken offline and upgraded as needed.
“We’re definitely not out of the woods yet, and we really need people to keep watching their water use so we can upgrade our wells and continue to cut back the chlorine across the city.
“We’re experiencing much hotter days now, with less rain in between, so the temptation is to leave the garden sprinklers on for longer or to turn them on more often.
“We have no issue with people watering their lawns or gardens, but we do ask they use a hand-held hose or watering can, which avoids any waste, and only water on alternate days between 9pm and 7am, when it’s cooler.”
Sprinklers and garden irrigators make up the biggest users of household water, but there are plenty of other ways people can help save, says Ms Beaumont.
“Taking shorter showers, doing one less laundry load a week, and sweeping your driveway instead of hosing it are all ways people can help save water. It may not seem like much, but a lot of people doing a little really adds up.”
By May the Council expects to have completed temporary upgrades on 19 below-ground wells and to have raised another 41 above ground, bringing the total number of secure wells to 98 out of 140.
“If we can upgrade those wells as planned, we should have enough unchlorinated water to supply the city over the winter months, when we use about 50 per cent less water than we do over summer,” adds Ms Beaumont.