Christchurch City Council

Supplementary Agenda



Notice of Meeting:

An ordinary meeting of the Christchurch City Council will be held on:


Date:                                     Thursday 14 June 2018

Time:                                    9.30am

Venue:                                 Council Chambers, Civic Offices,
53 Hereford Street, Christchurch





Deputy Chairperson


Mayor Lianne Dalziel

Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner

Councillor Vicki Buck

Councillor Jimmy Chen

Councillor Phil Clearwater

Councillor Pauline Cotter

Councillor Mike Davidson

Councillor David East

Councillor Anne Galloway

Councillor Jamie Gough

Councillor Yani Johanson

Councillor Aaron Keown

Councillor Glenn Livingstone

Councillor Raf Manji

Councillor Tim Scandrett

Councillor Deon Swiggs

Councillor Sara Templeton



13 June 2018




Principal Advisor

Dr Karleen Edwards

Chief Executive

Tel: 941 8554


Jo Daly

Council Secretary

941 8581

Note:  The reports contained within this agenda are for consideration and should not be construed as Council policy unless and until adopted.  If you require further information relating to any reports, please contact the person named on the report.
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14 June 2018




14 June 2018




10.     Resolution to Include Supplementary Reports...................................................................... 4

11.     Well Head Improvements......................................................................................................... 5  


14 June 2018



10 Resolution to Include Supplementary Reports

1.       Background

1.1          Approval is sought to submit the following report to the Council meeting on 14 June 2018:

11.   Well Head Improvements

1.2          The reason, in terms of section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, why the report was not included on the main agenda is that it was not available at the time the agenda was prepared.

1.3          It is appropriate that the Council receive the report at the current meeting.

2.       Recommendation

2.1          That the report be received and considered at the Council meeting on 14 June 2018.




14 June 2018



11.    Well Head Improvements




Helen Beaumont, Programme Manager – Water Supply



1.   Purpose of Report

1.1       The purpose of this report is for the Council to be informed of progress on well head improvements and the removal of temporary chlorination.

Origin of Report

1.2       This report being provided to fulfil the following Council resolutions from CNCL/2018/00073, 26 April 2018:

4.            Resolves to implement temporary chlorination in Wainui until its well is made secure.

5.            Requests staff identify funding sources to undertake the well head security improvements when the preferred approach and programme has been confirmed.

6.            Requests staff to bring back to a May ITE Committee or Council meeting, a report outlining progress to date and a draft programme of improvements proposed which takes into account the optimum solutions, timing, funding and interdependencies of the water network and future proofing.


2.   Significance

2.1       The decision in this report is of low significance as it is an information report. However it concerns an issue of high significance to the Christchurch community. 

2.2       Because the decision is of low significance, it is not intended to undertake community engagement or consultation at this stage.  


3.   Staff Recommendations

That the Council:

1.         Receive the information in the Well Head Improvements report.


4.   Key Points

4.1       This report supports the Council's Long Term Plan (2015 - 2025):

4.1.1   Activity:

·     Level of Service:  12.0.2 Ensure potable water is supplied in accordance with the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand (microbiology)

4.2       In March 2018 the Council implemented temporary chlorination to water supplies to manage the risk of contamination.  This action was in response to December 2017 advice from the Drinking Water Assessor, Canterbury District Health Board, that the status of Council’s water supply to the city had been changed from provisionally secure to unsecure.  This advice was based on the Council’s wells not meeting drinking water standards for well head security.

4.3       The objective of the Water Supply Improvement Programme is to ensure that public health is protected and to return Christchurch’s water supply to a secure status which would allow the removal of temporary chlorination. The Chief Executive has recently appointed Helen Beaumont as Programme Manager – Water Supply Improvement for a 12 month period from 1 June 2018 to further increase the resourcing and to coordinate across the multiple aspects of the programme.

4.4       The Council’s Water Supply Improvement Programme is overseeing the remediation of the well heads and improvements to pump stations. As well heads are remediated or alternative disinfection (ultra-violet or ozone) is put in place the Council will stop chlorination at that pump station. Staff will prioritise use of water from unchlorinated pump stations, as it becomes available, meaning the number of households with chlorinated water will reduce as the work is completed.

4.5       Key progress under the improvement programme to date includes: improving the safety of below ground well heads and 22 pump stations, bringing 11 wells at four pump stations up to standard (no chlorination), and undertaking investigations to support the decisions about the best approach to future proof each well and pump station. Staff have sought Expressions of Interest from ultraviolet light and ozone water treatment suppliers, and from contractors to convert below ground well heads to above ground well heads.

4.6       Well head remediation must address a complex range of issues including aquifer pressure and depth, individual well head configuration, disinfection regimes, backflow prevention, resource consents and proximity to potentially contaminated sites.  The two key constraints on accelerating the programme are the availability of specialist drilling contractors and machinery; and the requirement to maintain an adequate water supply across the city.

4.7       Solutions have been identified and confirmed for a further seven pump stations (Tranche 1) where well head remediation is required – design and physical works are underway for these sites. Once the work to is completed, chlorination will be removed from these pump stations. This will bring the percentage of unchlorinated water to about 25%.

4.8       To progress towards the goal of removing chlorination the work programme for the other pump stations will be prioritised and a water conservation campaign initiated to keep demand to winter levels (approximately half the peak summer demand). Keeping demand low will allow wells to be turned off for remedial works while still maintaining an adequate pressure within the water supply network.

4.9       Staff are also now implementing additional measures to reduce taste and odour issues arising from chlorination including flushing pipelines where taste and odour complaints have been received,  reducing the chlorine dose where possible, and favouring the use of water from unchlorinated pump stations.

4.10    The Council is undertaking the work programme in the context of an uncertain regulatory future.  Central government has announced a review of three waters services and is yet to respond to the recommendations of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry. While changes are likely there remains uncertainty whether a new regulatory framework for potable water supply will be introduced – which may or may not include mandatory chlorination.

5.   Context/Background

Christchurch’s water supply network

5.1       Christchurch’s water supply network has 139 operating wells (also known as bores) which supply the residents and businesses of Christchurch city and Lyttelton Harbour communities with water. There is also a well supplying Wainui, making a total of 140 wells which normally supply untreated water to the community. A further five wells have been drilled recently and further work is underway to connect them to the network.

5.2       Water flows from each well under natural artesian pressure, or is pumped, to the pump station and from there is pumped directly into the water supply network. There are 53 pump stations and each pump station has between one and six wells supplying it. Four pump stations are already secure and unchlorinated (Keyes, Estuary, Prestons and Gardiners).  In 2017 three of these pump stations supplied 10 per cent of the water to the Central Zone and 5 per cent of the city’s water (Gardiners is currently being commissioned).

5.3       The Council’s water supply network for Christchurch and Lyttelton Harbour is divided into 9 water supply zones, each with between one and 26 pump stations.

·    The Central zone is the largest supplying 185,000 people (54 per cent of the population)

·    The Northwest zone is the second largest supplying 80,000 people (23 per cent of the population). 

5.4       In addition there are separate water supply zones for Brooklands/Kainga and Wainui.

The Council’s well heads

5.5       Every well has a well head which is the physical structure at the top of the well. The function of the well head is to connect the well to the water supply network. It is essential that all well heads are secure, otherwise contaminants could enter the water supply and people could become ill, some seriously.

5.6       The Council’s well heads are of varying age and quality, with the oldest well dating back to 1924. Before the earthquakes most wells were constructed with below ground well heads. Following the earthquakes, there was a change to only constructing above ground well heads, to improve the resilience and safety of wells and security of water supply.

5.7       The Council has 104 wells with below ground well heads and 36 wells with above ground well heads.  The 104 below ground well heads are at more risk of becoming contaminated via groundwater or stormwater.

5.8       The Council has had a standard programme to replace three wells per year. Additional wells have been drilled over the past two years to accelerate the replacement of shallow wells in the north west of Christchurch.

Water Supply Safety

5.9       The Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ) cover all aspects of how to ensure the drinking water supplied to communities is safe to drink. They require drinking water be treated unless the groundwater source can be demonstrated to be secure.  The standards refer to the ground water and the well heads. 

5.10    To avoid disinfection treatment under the current drinking water standards, three bore water security criteria need to be met:

1.    The bore water must not be directly affected by surface or climatic influences (i.e. the water is at least a year old by which time any pathogens will have died)

2.    The well head must provide satisfactory protection to prevent contamination of the water supply

3.    E. coli must be absent in the bore water.

5.11    The standards have the status of regulations under the Health Act.  They are not guidelines and it is mandatory to take all practicable steps to meet the standards.   


Secure groundwater status and the impact of Havelock North

5.12    In August 2016 there was a major outbreak of campylobacteriosis in Havelock North with over 5,000 of the town’s 14,000 residents estimated to have become ill. The outbreak was traced to contamination of the drinking water supplied by two bores, into the Te Mata aquifer, on the outskirts of the town. The Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry, Stage 1 report, found that sheep faeces were the likely source of the campylobacter. It is likely that heavy rain flooded paddocks causing contaminated water to flow into a pond; water from the pond then entered the aquifer and flowed across to one the bores. Contamination may also have occurred when water from neighbouring paddocks flowed into roadside drains and entered the bore chambers, contaminating the supply via the unsealed well head – this was considered less likely.

5.13    A number of failures were identified by the inquiry including:

·    Poor knowledge and awareness of the aquifer and contamination risks

·    Inadequate standard of care for the public drinking water supply

·    Unacceptable delays to the preparation of a Water Safety Plan and reports on bore head security.

5.14    This Council has Water Safety Plans for each of its community water supplies across the district. To demonstrate secure groundwater status with the standards, each well head must be inspected by an expert in well head security every five years and signed off as secure. The Council has complied with this by having an external expert assess around 20 per cent of the well heads each year.

5.15    Since the Canterbury earthquakes, and until December 2017, the city’s water supply had a ‘provisionally secure’ status and complied with the drinking water standards without the need for treatment. On 22 August 2017, the annual compliance report was received from the Drinking Water Assessor confirming that the Christchurch water supply was compliant with the drinking water standards and commending the Council on having full bacterial compliance for all distribution zones.

5.16    The Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry Stage 2 report was released on 6 December 2017. It was highly critical of the Ministry of Health particularly in the area of enforcement of the drinking water standards.  It was also critical of the expert assessments of well head security.

5.17    A relevant recommendation from the Inquiry’s Stage 2 report was that:

[321] The Ministry, via the [Drinking Water Assessors] and Medical Officers of Health, should take urgent steps to administer and enforce the existing regulatory regime, having regard to the findings and recommendations in this Stage 2 Report.

5.18    In December 2017 the Council received the draft well head security assessment reports from Beca which found that the wells did not meet the security requirements of the drinking water standards.

5.19    On 20 December 2017, the Director-General of Health issued a statement under the Health Act 1956 to bring the responsibilities under the Act to the attention of drinking water suppliers.  On 22 December 2017 the Drinking Water Assessor advised Council that the status for the Christchurch and Brooklands/Kainga water supplies had been changed from provisionally secure to unsecure. On 19 March 2018 the Drinking Water Assessor advised Council that the Wainui water supply status was also unsecure.

5.20    Staff assessed the Council’s position in response to the Director General’s statement of 20 December 2017 and the loss of the ‘provisionally secure groundwater’ status and recommended accelerating the well head repair and improvement programme (started in August 2017) and also temporarily chlorinating the water supply to reduce the risks to public health.

Providing safe water – temporary chlorination

5.21    On 25 January 2018 Council voted in favour of fast-tracking the below-ground well head improvement programme and implementing temporary chlorination for 12 months, as an additional risk management process, while the well head improvement work is underway.

5.22    Temporary chlorination started in the Brooklands/Kainga zone on 26 March 2018 and was progressively rolled out at pump stations across the city. The last pump station to be chlorinated was Wainui on 9 May 2018.

5.23    Under the drinking water standards, a chlorine dose of 0.2 milligrams per litre (mg/L) with a 30 minute contact time is required to kill the target pathogens. To achieve this contact time requires a storage tank with a retention time of 30 minutes. However, most Council pump stations do not have a storage tank, so a 30 minute contact time is not possible before the water reaches the first customer.

5.24    Given the lack of storage tanks, an independent expert in chlorination is advising Council on the most appropriate temporary chlorination regime. The initial advice provided was that chlorine be dosed at 1 mg/L with 1 minute contact time. Chlorine breaks down when it comes into contact with organic matter so the level of free available chlorine isn’t constant across the network. The maximum acceptable value (to avoid health effects) for chlorine in the drinking water standards is 5 mg/L. The aesthetic guideline value (to avoid taste and odour effects) for chlorine is 0.6 mg/L.

5.25    Temporary chlorination has cost $2.3 million to install with an estimated annual operational cost of $1.1 million to treat and monitor the network, and maintain the temporary plant (for more detail see Attachment A).

6.   Progress Update

Reducing the amount of chlorine in the water supply

6.1       Council staff are pursuing several strategies to reduce the amount of chlorine in the water supply:

6.1.1   Favouring the use of four pump stations (Estuary, Keyes, Prestons and Gardiners) that are not chlorinated. These could supply about 5 to 10% of the city’s water supply.

6.1.2   Reducing the chlorine dose by up to 50% where there is at least a 2 minute contact time before the first customer and where this reduction would not worsen smell and taste issues.  Implementation will take a couple of weeks and chlorination would then be reduced by up to 50% at those pump stations.  

6.1.3   Ceasing chlorination at pump stations whose below ground well heads can be isolated and the above ground well heads can be made secure. This is possible where the above ground wells heads would still provide sufficient water including for emergencies such as fire-fighting.  Implementation and sign-off would likely take a few weeks.

Well Head Security Improvement: progress to date

6.2       The objective of the water supply improvement programme is to ensure that public health is protected at all times. The goals of the programme are:

Short term:

To return Christchurch’s water supply back to secure status or similar to the satisfaction of the Drinking Water Assessor in the most timely, economic, and technically sound manner possible to allow the removal of temporary chlorination.

To develop solutions which improve the likelihood of gaining an exemption to chlorination in the future.

Long Term:

To provide a public water supply network to improve the likelihood of gaining exemption to chlorination.

6.3       Staff have undertaken a substantial programme of work to reinstate secure groundwater status. Since January 2018 the Well Head Security Improvement Programme has:

a.    Improved the security of the below-ground well heads at eleven pump stations

b.    Made improvements to wells at four pump stations to bring them up to drinking water standards and avoid chlorination (Keyes, Prestons, Estuary and Gardiners) – and favoured the use of water from these pump stations

c.     Introduced temporary chlorination where required (48 pump stations)

d.    Commissioned and received a report on the options for remediating below ground well heads

e.    Undertaken assessments of the work required to remediate each and every well, including cost estimates

f.     Undertaken preliminary modelling to determine which pump stations could be abandoned

g.    Assessed alternative locations for wells to replace those most vulnerable to contamination from flooding

h.    Started investigating the reduction of the chlorine dose where there is at least a two minute contact time

i.      Flushing pipelines where taste and odour complaints have been received

j.     Started investigating the temporary isolation of below ground well heads at pump stations with a majority of above ground well heads – to enable chlorination to cease at these pump stations (potentially Lake Terrace, Thompsons, Burnside, Farrington and Grampian)

k.    Issued and received Expressions of Interest to ultraviolet light and ozone water treatment suppliers

l.      Commissioned and received a report on the practicality and cost of ultraviolet light treatment at 12 pump stations and ozone treatment at one pump station

m.   Issued an Expression of Interest (which closed on 6 June 2018) inviting contractors to submit on converting below-ground well heads to above-ground and to suggest any innovative solutions to achieve secure status

n.    Received advice on European best practice for unchlorinated water supplies.

Well Head Remediation: Immediate works to seven pump stations (Tranche 1)

6.4       On 26 April 2018 the Council approved staff proceeding with raising well heads above ground where this was the obvious solution.  Following a rapid assessment staff have selected seven pump stations for immediate works:

·    Grampian, Farrington, Burnside and Hills pump stations each have one well with a below ground well head with the remainder of the water supplied from wells with above ground well heads.  The solution for these pump stations is to raise the remaining well heads. Best practice grouting (over-drilling and grouting to achieve a full seal around the well casing) will be used.

·    Kainga pump station has one well with an above ground well head and the solution for this is to undertake minor remedial works so that the well head can be signed off as secure.

·    Grassmere and Mays pump stations are served by three wells each.  One well at each pump station takes water from the shallowest aquifer and in both cases these wells are a high priority for renewal.  These wells will be renewed in the 2018/19 financial year as part of the Council’s long term well renewal programme.  The remaining four wells at these pump stations have below ground well heads and these will be raised.  Best practice grouting (over-drilling and grouting to achieve a full seal around the well casing) will be used.



Pump Station

Water Supply Zone


Planned Remedial Works


North West

1 below ground well head and 5 above ground well heads

Raise below ground well head above ground, minor works to make above ground well heads secure


North West

1 below ground well head and 4 above ground well heads

Raise below ground well head above ground, minor works to make above ground well heads secure


North West

1 below ground well head and 1 above ground well head

Raise below ground well head above ground, minor works to make above ground well head secure



1 below ground well head and 2 above ground well heads

Raise below ground well head above ground, minor works to make above ground well heads secure



3 below ground well heads

Drill one replacement well, raise two below ground well heads above ground



3 below ground well heads

Drill one replacement well, raise two below ground well heads above ground



1 above ground well head

Minor works to make above ground well head secure


6.5       The estimated cost for the above works is up to $5 million and will take 12 months to fully implement. Designs have been completed for Grampian and Farrington and the works are out to tender. Design is underway for the remaining 5 pump stations. The initial capital works package of pump stations can be funded from the 2018/19 Water Supply Headworks and Pump Station renewals in the draft Long Term Plan (LTP). 

6.6       These seven pump stations supplied 17% of the city’s water in 2017.  Together with the four unchlorinated pump stations at Keys, Prestons, Estuary and Gardiners, the work to the seven pump stations will mean that about one quarter of the city’s water will not be chlorinated.

Well Head Remediation:  work to the remaining 42 pump stations (Tranches 2 and 3)

6.7       Staff are investigating the most appropriate solutions for the remaining 42 pump stations. Potential solutions to bring these pump stations to drinking water standards include:

·     Raising well heads

·     Treating with alternative disinfection – ultra violet or ozone treatment

·     Drilling a replacement well

·     Not using a well (i.e. turn off those with below ground well heads).

6.8       Attachment B provides some detail on the above solutions.

6.9       To determine the most appropriate solution for each pump station staff will consider factors such as:

·     Practicality – both to undertake and for long-term maintenance

·     Cost – capital and ongoing operational 

·     Time to implement.

6.10    The work programme will factor in the two key timing constraints for well head remediation: 

·     The availability of suitable drilling machines and specialist contractors

·     The number of wells that can be taken out of service at any one time while still maintaining adequate water supply.

6.11    In developing the work programme staff will also consider what remedial work might be needed to obtain an exemption from any mandatory treatment introduced by central government.   Work to obtain an exemption may be broader than work to well head security only.   Work to other parts of the water supply system such as backflow prevention may be required. 

6.12    The draft Long Term Plan (LTP) includes a planned spend of $35 million over 10 years for Water Supply – Headworks Well Renewals and Christchurch Well Head Security. This could be brought forward into the first three years of the LTP, with any additional funding that may be required being consulted on as part of a future annual plan, LTP, or special consultative procedure.

6.13    It is likely that implementation of the full work programme would exceed $35 million. The issues of funding and community consultation will be addressed in the September 2018 report.

Appointment to new Programme Manager Role

6.14    The Chief Executive has appointed Helen Beaumont to the new role of Programme Manager – Water Supply Improvement. This 12 month secondment from Helen’s substantive role as Head of Strategic Policy commenced on 1 June 2018.  This role reports directly to the Chief Executive and has been established to further bolster the resourcing for this key area of focus.  This position will coordinate work underway across Council including: 

·     Temporary chlorination including its reduction

·     Well head remediation and improvement

·     Water supply strategy including a focus on the Government’s current forward work programme around drinking water, and the uncertainty that creates.

·     Central government and local government liaison in relation to the findings of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry

·     Communications with residents, Community Boards, and Councillors.

6.15    Council will receive a monthly report on progress including options for the future work programme.








Temporary chlorination costs



Summary table comparing disinfection and remediation options






Helen Beaumont - Programme Manager - Water Supply

Approved By

Karleen Edwards - Chief Executive



14 June 2018


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14 June 2018


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