Napier water at ‘high risk’ of contamination – review

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A review of Napier’s water supply has identified several risks, including the catastrophic scenario of the city running out of water.

Closeup shot of a man pouring a glass of fresh water from a kitchen faucet

Photo: 123RF

The risks are highlighted in a review of Napier City Council’s water safety plan that will go before the Audit and Risk Committee on Friday.

The water safety plan was created in response to the Havelock North Water crisis, in which 5000 people fell ill with water-borne campylobacter in 2016 and led to the deaths of at least four people.

But a recent review of the plan identified several gaps, including eight “high risks”, and one “very high risk”.

These included the potential contamination of the city’s reservoirs, bores and water treatment plants were considered “high risks”.

It also considered the “unlikely” but “catastrophic” scenario the council’s consent from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to take water was declined or not renewed in time as “very high risk”.

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The consent expires in May 2027 and officials recommended that the council apply early to ensure that it was renewed in time.

A series of remediations to reduce the risks will be discussed by the council this week.

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