Support the Guardian

Available for everyone, funded by readers

Hopes boil water notices are at an end

Hopes boil water notices are at an end
Brinkley Village general manager Paul Creswick described the water issues in Methven as laughable in 2021. Two years on, the end of boil water notices is in sight. PHOTO ASHBURTON GUARDIAN.

Methven residents are hoping their latest boil water notice will be their last.

The community’s frustration with boil water notices is almost at an end, with the town’s new membrane treatment plant set to go online in September.

That comes as some comfort to businesses who have become used to dealing with boil water notices, with the latest occurring on July 23 - in the middle of a busy ski season.from It was lifted on Monday afternoon.

Brinkley Village general manager Paul Creswick said the town will be happy when it’s over.

“It’s an extreme inconvenience. We just got used to it and it was something we have had to do which was disappointing.

“Hopefully it will all be in the rear vision mirror shortly and it will be great not to have to deal with it."

Dubliner co-owner Gary Manning said it wasn’t ideal.

“Some guests from outside the region were a bit shocked watching us wheelbarrow water in.

“A lot of people have are quite vexed believing the money has been spent, so didn’t expect another one [boil water notice] but [the plant’s] not finished yet, it will be soon so hopefully that was the last time.”

Commissioning work on the new plant starts next week, council infrastructure and open spaces group manager Neil McCann, said.

The commissioning process involves training staff who will work at the plant, testing all the electrical components (known as dry testing) and testing all the water pipes and connections (wet testing), McCann said.

“Depending on the result of the dry and wet testing, the plant will undergo full operation testing at the end of August, and then start trial operations.”

Heavy rain impacts the water supply’s shallow gallery intake from the North Ashburton River which causes the water to become too cloudy (turbid) to be treated.

The boil water notices were issued because the council couldn’t be certain the turbid water was being effectively treated, McCann said.

“The new membrane plant will be able to filter the turbid water that so often occurs after a big rain event and will remove 99.9% of micro-sized contaminants.

“The water will then be disinfected with UV light and chlorine, and fluoride added before being stored in the reservoirs and distributed via the town’s drinking water supply pipe network.

“We are as happy as the people on those schemes that the end of boil water notices is in sight.”


Methven’s $10m water treatment plant upgrade is almost complete and the Ashburton District Council has started a $4.6m membrane treatment plant for the Mt Somers water supply, which is expected to take eight months to complete.

By Jonathan Leask