Waikato River Information
Over the next 25 years Auckland's population is expected to double, so Watercare have built a water treatment plant at Tuakau to keep up with future demands. To treat the water before it reaches our taps Watercare add chlorine, aluminium and fluoride.
Keep in mind that some of the concerns relating to the quality of the Waikato river water as a supply for Auckland also apply to the other 22 communities such as Hamilton, Cambridge, Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Pukerimu, Te Kauwhata.
Information supplied by Environment Waikato shows where the river pollution comes from:
- Pulp & paper mill 4%
- Hamilton sewage 9%
- Meatworks 9%
- Other industies 8%
- Non-point 70%. (runoff from storm water, forestry and farms)
Some of the contaminants that enter the river this way are:
- Oil and other hydrocarbons from roads
- Heavy metals
- Ammonia (from urine and excrement)
- Fertiliser and agrichemicals
Some of these chemicals change into other even nastier chemicals when exposed to other elements such as air. Some chemicals accumulate or build up in the flesh of fish and other animals. Other contaminants found in the river water are: Chloride, arsenic, boron & lithium (used in batteries) Arsenic comes from the discharge of geothermal waste at the Wairakei Power Station.
Hamilton's treatment removes 80% of this arsenic, which takes it below allowable levels, but you are still drinking small amounts of arsenic over very many years. Other things the Council checks regularly are: antimony, lead, arsenic, boron, fluoride.
Water treatment plants
Water treatment plants do remove a certain amount of these contaminants, but paying $2 per 1,000 litres for this water, you cannot expect the healthiest drinking water. The Ministry of Health provides an annual register of drinking water qualities.
In New Zealand which grades the water from A-E, their first priority is bacteria. The second priority are contaminants known to have adverse affects upon human health. They are concerned if it exceeds half the Maximum Allowable Value. This means that small amounts can be in your drinking water. Water quality will vary from day to day and depends on a variety of factors. This will include where it comes from, the treatment it gets and of course the pipes it travels through to get to your home.
If you are concerned with any of this information we can help you with a solution, call us for free now on 0800 787 392.