Drinkable Water

 Some background

Kayakers expect to paddle non-infected waters. Drinking water should be as safe to consume as food. Stage Two (nationwide) Report of the 2017 Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry has highlighted the sad situation relating to unsafe NZ Drinking Water. The Inquiry final report was a complete vindication of my submissions to Stage One and Stage Two of that Inquiry.

Sam Mahon pleading “Please stop crapping into our waterways”

The absolute idiot (supporting correspondence on file) Nick Smith is now (March 2018) being correctly sent to the back benches  – from whence he should retire from politics. Once portrayed as THE ‘green’ National Party Caucus member – he will go down in history remembered as the ‘model’ for the crap-in-the-river Sam Mahon sculpture – a truly ‘BLACK’ National Party Caucus member.

The Anakiwa experience.

Also known as – how to waste years of your life – with little community appreciation.

In 2010 I became the chairman of the Anakiwa Bay Water Supply Association (ABWSA). Drinking Water Legislation indicated that we were years behind adopting the 2005 Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ). Two of the committee preferred the taste of infected water. Two committee members were neutral.  Myself and one other committee member set about making improvements. We had entirely differing resolution paths. Made more difficult by total disfunction within the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board Public Health Service (PHS).

The intervention of PHS facilitation did nothing but inflame relationships between Anakiwa neighbours. None of that PHS ‘facilitation’ concerned the supply of safer drinking water to members. In fact – the reverse. Imagine being challenged “Why are you chlorinating the water?” These words from their drinking water facilitator – who had recently enforced a ‘Boil Water’ notice.

The ABWSA was a shambles – not Incorporated as a Society – thus exposing operative members to huge personal liability. The retiring President’s Report suggested that “Sickly bach owners just needed to toughen up”. The ‘plant’ was ‘as-installed’ 35 years earlier – lacking (settling) storage capacity. An access easement existed for the reticulation. At huge financial cost – with hours of negotiation expended – we negotiated three more easements thus guaranteeing maintenance access forever.

I served three years as chairman and in 2014 stayed on the committee for continuity. There was no continuity because of only one ineffective committee meeting being held. I departed the ABWSS committee mid-term, with multiple ‘Barriers’ set up to prevent sediment arriving in the reticulation.

Now lets be fair. The only error made by those 2010 – 2013 committee members resisting change – was poor appreciation of the huge degradation in New Zealand rivers and streams in the past 50 years. And mostly in our own logging catchment in the prior 5 years.

Fortunately, away from ABWSS, Anakiwa offers other pleasures

Rivers and streams that used to be drinkable – are not even swimmable now. Thanks to Nick and his (“lets turn the NZ plains into one-huge-dairy-farm – with the NZ hillsides turned into pine-forest-scarred-logging-platforms”) National Party Caucus mates.

Here are some links to four important 2017 reports on the degradation of NZ rivers and streams. THE SCIENCE.

1/     Analysis of Water Quality in New Zealand Lakes and Rivers

2     Environmental pressures rising in New Zealand

3    New Zealand’s fresh waters:

And here is a link on the scientific effect of pine forest logging – and the effect on stream water quality

The ABWSS catchment that had been logged 5 years earlier. Note the new plantings. Because the Neighbourhood Registered ABWSS scheme serves less than 5000 – the NES for Drinking Water does not apply. Absolutely stupid – based on the good-old-days when it was safe to drink water our of rural creeks, Read the reports above again!

Example of logging in adjacent valley. There is also an NES for logging!

NES – what’s this? The Ministry for the Environment has National Environment Standards for many activities. The NES purpose is to apply nation-wide standards to Regional Council decision making. I am most acquainted  with the National Environment Standard for Drinking Water.

There is an excellent Draft User Guide for this NES

In order to comply with the conditions for a new abstraction Marlborough District Council Resource Consent, the renamed Anakiwa Bay Water Supply Society Incorporated (ABWSS), was required to fit a new water meter. This meter was connected to a USB Stick data logger. Due to the huge debris loadings, the meter stopped spinning. Jammed gearbox – no extraction readings have ever been lodged.

Dismantled. Surely the reader can see why. This meter is now of scrap metal value. The fine sediment that it should have never been in contact with – has seized the gearbox. No readings to Council. No synchronised chlorine dose.

This new meter had to be mounted below the dam and above any water-powered sediment removal devises. Right in the flow of the ‘potable’ dam-water example shown below. (Sarcasm intended)

NOTE : PHOTO OF LATER INSTALLATION – SAME PIPE. All known water meters are designed to ONLY operate in clean potable water – not this slurry.

The certified accurate new meter – subjected to huge volumes of foreign matter. Complete with illegal flow valve mounted too close. Retrofitted to enable daily clearing of the strainer. Uncertified.

Which resulted in this

Meter primary ‘foreign-body’ (dropped nut – or maybe a pebble) strainer. Not designed for this. Image taken after large volume of rotting pine bark tapped out – to show clogged holes

Which resulted in this

Meter secondary strainer – only serviceable after the copper wire seal was illegally cut

Members became ill. Some were very ill. I wonder why?

Could things get worse? Certainly!

The Sag and Bleed device that I constructed – having discovered an old timers trick is shown here

Sag and Bleed device that removed huge quantities of sediment before arriving at the tanks

Which resulted in this

Water sample from a one second jar-fill from Sag and Bleed off-take – back to the stream

Surely things could not get any worse

At the dam an ‘upgrade’ 2mm woven-wire mesh strainer became a leaf ‘dice-cutter’. Check out the little 2mm square particles floating in the tank. Organic sediment equals bacteria. Bacteria equals illness.

And meanwhile the very effective Sag and Bleed devise was in a new place. Hey – best place. “It wasted so much water!”

Sag and Bleed devise scrapped. Hmmmm

Surely that must be the end of the retard action!

No. No. No! The three new tanks, fitted with TankVac sediment removal devises and WaterBouys were ‘mothballed’. The (file) image below displays-for-all-to-see – how these “useless” devises waste water – and do not remove tank sediment. (Detect sarcasm? And why not!)

Witness the huge waste of water. Witness the broken TankVac sediment removal promise. Mothball these “useless” water wasters henceforth.

To sum up the 2014 ABWSS Inc situation

  • The residents were being supplied ‘Raw’ water – flow-of-the-stream straight through the old original concrete tanks.
  • The post-forest-logging had seriously degraded the catchment. (Click here for the science)
  • The sediment loadings in the stream were unprecedented in 40 years.
  • ALL of this ‘Raw’ water was ‘strained’ through the infective-matrix (refer photos) within the water meter
  • The biofilm layer within the reticulation is very very thick. All pathogens ‘Welcome’ – within the slime.
  • Some members were ill. Very ill

Oh well – at least I tried! A truly thankless time-wasteful activity.

Below you can read my email – an email sent after two extreme health issues within my own family – after two Anakiwa visits spaced six months apart. To this day – unanswered.

Grand daughter Maia – first day skiing at age two. Third time lucky!  No No! By being a “Bully” – I created our own luck good fortune.

For the past four months I have mainly been domiciled in Methven or Nelson. As a ABWSS member I am disturbed about current aspects of our Anakiwa water supply.
It has come to my attention that upon my return to Anakiwa today – the heavy mineral sediment has free flow into the original concrete tanks. I also understand that the supply to the residents is from these same original concrete tanks. YUK!
Please explain to me the reason that I wasted 3 years of my life leading a committee that worked to huge excess – identifying the three main sediment types – and eliminating two types.
Sag and Bleed devise to eliminate the heavy mineral sediment sludge. Yuk! This will be seen in huge volumes when you next clean the tanks.
Tank Vacs to remove the organic litter and bird / mammal shit. The only current escape for this item at the moment is our taps. YUK.
The third light/fine mineral sediment is now removed by the weekly line flush. Well done on that.
I would also ask you to explain – who authorised the destruction of the Sag and Bleed devise – an item that I wasted two full days of my life manufacturing and fitting? This can only indicate a general lack of respect for the plant and those volunteers who created it.
Who has authorised the mothballing of the sophisticated plastic tanks with their TankVacs, Waterbouys and Calming devises? And WHY? Why did we bother?
Please note. During the three years of the committee I lead – we NEVER destroyed a single item made by those who came before us. We ALWAYS showed respect for their efforts.
About 15 years ago an elderly (my current age) guest suffered life threatening viral illness just two days after visiting Anakiwa. That was why I volunteered my three years. This weekend a pregnant house guest was expecting to visit. Lynda said don’t come. We will instead get together in Nelson.
Please explain why your ABWSS infrastructure management has turned back the clock a full 5 years – to almost exactly the same as 40 years ago? Only worse. Len Baxter installed his own Sag and Bleed devise into the concrete tanks – which I copied. You have allowed the destruction of the one that I built. The Anakiwa water supply is currently the worst ever.
Your only saving grace has been the dry winter.
Yours in total disgust
Grahame Sisson

Readers may ask about our own in-house UV disinfection? Over the winter the huge sediment load had ruptured our filter cartridge – and the UV body was packed solid with mud. Inoperative.

The mud removal brush fashioned from Gutterguard brush

Move forward to 2018 and ABWSS water is much cleaner and safer. The un-syncronised chlorine pump incapable of maintaining FAC. Community disinfection is still a work-in-progress. Thanks to the dedication of one man great gains have been made. My neighbour. He is currently selling up and leaving. I wonder why?

Community effort too demanding – Time to focus on own-family-home disinfection

Our Anakiwa home has been fitted with UV water treatment since 2008. In 2014 the huge sediment load ruptured the one-micron filter and rendered the UV useless. UV disinfection offers zero residual protection as the water travels beyond the light chamber. Our house pipes were subsequently full of biofilm. Re-infection following UV disinfection.

We had several unplanned short winter visits due to a Nelson family bereavement, a Nelson family hospital admittance and the subsequent disposal of a Richmond family home. Checking our UV sterilisation was not a first priority. Huge and costly illness was endured by our family member Anakiwa visitors.

Since early 2016 our home water treatment includes

Alphasan CIO2 chlorine dioxide water disinfectant/deodoriser – yet to be recognised by Ministry Of (lottery) Health Illness as real.

Closer Alphasan label detail.

chlorine dioxide. Reticulation biofilm (infected slime) within our property – gone. Absolutely wonderful rock-solid-stable set-and-forget disinfection resulting in city visitors experiencing happy holidays.

The manager of Alpha Environmental Ltd, Warwick Ivory reports huge sales growth of Alphasan to food preparation facilities nationwide. I remain their only private-dwelling water disinfection/odour reduction smiling customer. I am not surprised.

The Ministry of Health Illness has publicly proclaimed Alphasan (CIO2) to be “Not a gas”. Haha! The Ministry of Health Illness scientist studied an USA chemical concoction of the same brand name – not the genuine (CIO2) chlorine dioxide product that is manufactured just 300 metres from the NMDHB, PHS office in Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand.

Furthermore these Ministry of Health Illness ‘experts’ cling to the historic 20th century mantra that CIO2 dose pump concentration cannot be monitored or controlled. And they question – “What about the chlorite?”

The Alphasan manufacturers have laboratory test documents – one on the raw Alphasan – and one on my own household treated water. Zero chlorite in both tests.

The Ministry of Health Illness PHS staff had never heard of Oxygenation Reduction Potential

In addition, I own another modern backup means for monitoring my Alphasan concentration.

CIO2 (chlorine dioxide) is mentioned alongside other commonly used water disinfectants – all the way though the DWSNZ 2008.

The DWSNZ requires a re-write. ‘The concentrations of chlorine dioxide and FAC may be summed’. There is zero chlorine in chlorine dioxide. This ‘sum’ can only be possible using TOTAL Oxygenation Reduction Potential (ORP).

Why is this 21st century disinfection advance ignored? Scroll down to the next photo – taken of a Ministry of Health Illness official heading away for a hard day at the office.

“Your river is my Drinking Water Catchment”

The Utopian Disinfection Future

By 1950 the supply of safe water in the cities had been mastered. Rural folk could safely drink handy streams – because there had been limited rural pollution.

Drinking water safety became “boring” and those in charge ‘went-to-sleep-at-the-wheel’.

Modern technical advances (chlorine dioxide disinfection) have been ‘binned’ “Why would we need that?”. To best understand 21st Century drinking water disinfection advances – travel to Bangladesh where the World Health Organisation have been very proactive.

Actually as New Zealand entered the 21st Century, there was a flurry of “Improve Drinking Water” activity. The Ministry for the Environment, ESR, and Ministry of Health all produced absolutely wonderful publications. Available for all to read – on the Internet. The ABWSS committee gained their knowledge here. Meanwhile the PHS guy shown above – travelling to work to finalise the ABWSS Water-Safety-Plan – one day – missed the point of his employment. Saving lives.

The final report of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry highlights the need for an updated NES that includes Neighbourhood schemes. As well as truckloads  of “wake-up” pills.

Below you can read my suggestion for nationwide utopia.

  1. Every Registered NZ Drinking Water supply from Neighbourhood-to-larger should be disinfected.
  2. A pre-oxidisation disinfection should be chlorine dioxide based – which – provided the concentration / time (Ct value) factor is understood – will disinfect a wide range of nasties – plus take out manganese, tannins and protozoa.
  3. Storage and settling. Tank bottoms cleaned with TankVacs. Off-take through floating WaterBouys.
  4. Reticulation disinfection using Free Available Chlorine (FAC)
  5. Properly placed Oxygenation Reduction Potential (ORP) sensors throughout the reticulation.
  6. ORP sensors reporting the FAC every six hours to a central nation-wide server database.
  7. Whenever the ORP FAC reading is less than the server expects – a text is sent to the operator of the treatment process. “Wake UP!!”

No threats. Just proactive assistance. Automatically. Safe water everywhere.

Months after the HNDW Inquiry

I would have expected the new Government to have appointed a Minister for Drinking Water. We do however seem to have a Minister for Horse Racing. WOW!

Instead the old tired 1950’s Drinking Water brigade are still doing what they do best. Some are self trained in their job – and wondering what to do next. Mostly they appear to consume truckloads of sleeping pills.

Methven ‘Boil-Water’ notices

A.K.A. – How to breach the DWSNZ. Hmmmmm.

Firstly the Ashburton District Council (ADC) “Boil Water” notices are advertised on Facebook. How would I know? Facebook is a no-go in my life. Always has been. The current ‘data-leaking’ was easy to imagine. The “Delete Facebook” craze is underway. ADC need to find a better communication platform. How about Mobile Text?

Methven residents would be amazed to learn – our Anakiwa water is of much better quality than the Methven town supply delivers. My body tells me so!

Watch this space

Contact Grahame

For all enquiries and orders please contact me directly:

Phone: 027 2755 499

Email: grahame@sissonkayaks.co.nz

Phone: 027 2755 499Email: grahame@sissonkayaks.co.nz

© 2018 Sisson Kayaks.