Why can't everyone on Waiheke Island have pure water?

April 1, 2024
Why can't everyone on Waiheke Island have pure water?
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Overall, the New Zealand drinking water situation isn’t as good as most people might think!

Recent statistics show that over 970,000 people on registered drinking water supplies receive water that does not meet NZ Drinking Water Standards! A further 840,000 receive water of unknown quality including rural and small-scale self-suppliers. The number of people that become ill from their drinking water is unknown, but Government officials have reported conservative estimates that this number is in excess of 30,000 people every year!

The Pure Water Project is a New Zealand business and was formed by Darryl Ingham and Ben Moore, specifically to give kiwis the top-quality water they deserve. Darryl and Ben are water quality experts that specialise in Whole Home, bore water and small to medium scale commercial water treatment systems. As Water Quality Engineers they not only know how to effectively design a treatment system, but also ensure that the system is easy to maintain and continues to produce top quality water. They have also found that there are a lot of older treatment systems on the Island that are in need of some love and are happy to help you get these sorted.

Waiheke residents all understand the value of drinkable water and appreciate it is a precious resource. There are two main sources on the island, rainwater and bore water.

The quality and softness of rainwater is generally the easier of the two to manage with a filter and UV disinfection system to treat whatever is lucky enough to be washed into your tank. But, taste and odour can be an additional problem and needs to be dealt with properly. Rainwater is also naturally acidic. Acidity isn’t normally an issue with concrete tanks as the lime from the cement helps neutralise the rainwater. However, plastic tanks cannot neutralise the acid nature of rainwater. Acidic water is often "plumbosolvent" which is Latin for “dissolve or release lead” meaning the water can dissolve parts of softer metal fittings or pipes such as lead or copper into your water. Lead doesn’t normally show up visually and we all know too much is not a good thing! In the case of copper, this can be seen as blue or green staining on kitchen and bathroom fixtures – any of this in your home?

Bore water on the other hand is a totally different puzzle. Bore water on Waiheke is often hard with limescale also containing iron and manganese. This comes from being in contact with underground rocks, which partially dissolve into the water. These minerals form damaging scale and produce staining, but also produce an environment where nasty bugs can grow. Waiheke bores are also prone to salt water intrusion, which can add to corrosion and appliance damage.

Water is the most important nutrient for life and ensuring your water is healthy to drink is common sense. In addition to your health, treating your water properly also has a range of extra benefits including:

  1. Softer, smoother hair, skin and nails.
  2. Great tasting tea, coffee and drinking water - no need for bottled water
  3. Saving money and reducing environmental impact from using less soap, shampoo and detergent.
  4. Brighter colours, longer lasting and cleaner clothes, towels and laundry.
  5. Savings on water heating costs from eliminating scale build up.

It's 2020, we live in “Clean and Green” New Zealand – no one should be getting sick from the water they drink.