News and Notices

Seddon boil water notice lifted

Seddon residents can finally safely drink their tap water, with the lifting of a long-standing 'boil water' notice.

On 26 August Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) gave approval to the Marlborough District Council to lift the notice, following the completion of a series of checks by NMH Drinking Water Assessor David Speedy.

Mr Speedy acknowledged the huge effort put in by water treatment staff and technical advisors to collect and present the compliance information.

“The council and community can be justifiably proud that this plant is working as designed and meets the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand.” 

Council Chief Executive Mark Wheeler said this was a monumental milestone for the people of Seddon.

“Being able to turn on the tap and fill up a glass of water that’s safe to drink is something this community has been waiting a very long time for. Today, that day has finally come,” he said.

“I’d like to thank all of those involved in the treatment plant project over the years, particularly the Awatere Seddon Water Group, who worked tirelessly to bring it to fruition. Council’s water engineering team - Stephen Rooney, Stuart Donaldson, Mark Power, Erica Hobbs, and Robin Millard, Nelson Marlborough Health staff, along with many others who put in the hard yards to deliver a world-class, modern water treatment facility. It’s great to see the community of Seddon benefitting as a result of everyone working together in a spirit of cooperation,” he said.

The Awatere Seddon Water Group – Rick Hammond, Carl Jackson, Malcolm Clemett, Martin Hall and Liz Cleaver – also welcomed today's result.

Group secretary Liz Cleaver said: “With the newly refurbished Awatere Memorial Hall due to celebrate its opening and our sporting facility repairs completed, our wee town is well on the way to recovery after the destructive earthquakes of recent years.”

Efforts to provide safe drinking water from the tap in Seddon have been underway since at least 1975, and over the years there have been many attempts to tackle the issue. From the outset, the council and residents had to wrestle with the cost of modern water treatment for a small community.

After years of discussion, the council agreed to fund half of the cost of the treatment plant from its reserves. The project also received a $1 million government subsidy. The balance was shared between Seddon’s residents through a capped annual charge on households in the scheme, and through a charge spread across other ratepayers in Marlborough’s water supply rating areas.

Construction of the plant began in 2018, with the new multi-million dollar facility officially opened in March this year. However, the boil notice remained in place until the required monitoring data and water safety plan could be supplied to the NMH Drinking Water Assessor. Following evaluation of this information, the Assessor has today provided approval to finally lift the boil water notice.

The council will continue working toward treatment for water supplied to rural households in the Dashwood and Awatere South rural zones.  In the meantime the boil water notice remains in place for these zones.