​A Rejigit rant: Christchurch drinking water is going down the gurgler in every respect!

by The REJIGIT Blog

Update 05/02/2018 

Guest comment from ETA

Historically the city has have some problem areas with its aquifers. For example, near its eastern border, sea water has made its way into the aquifers with the result that some In the area have been closed.
Both Councils have been very wary of the bores on the western boundary. Initially it was because industrial development there e.g. Islington freezing works, since closed and the like, posed a risk to subterranean water sources e.g. toxic spills.
Interestingly further development in recent times one would have thought may have increased the risk but perhaps serious remediation has reduced the risk.
Within the last 15 years the regional council has express real concern about the concentration of dairying near the western city boundary attempting to deal with the risk in its planning documents but without success.
They may have dealt with the risk by insisting that adjacent bores be shut down and if that is the case it would make a clear connection between the adverse effects of dairying and public access to high quality water.

Today (25/01/2018), the Christchurch City Council voted to Chlorinate the City’s water supply. Rejigit appreciates that the Council has a primary duty of care to ensure the integrity and safety of all of its water sources, none-the-less this is a shameful state of affairs and another nail in the coffin of New Zealand’s so-called clean green image.

One could be excused for believing that the Council is content to oversee the demise of Christchurch’s world famous drinking water while failing to raise merry hell with regard to intensive farming practices which undoubtedly have given rise to the current underlying water problem.

There is a plethora of scientifically based opinion out there which indicates there is a direct link between irrigation and intensive farming practices and what has suddenly become serious concern about Christchurch’s drinking water.

Surely common sense would have caused many to have long been extremely worried about the ongoing security of the drinking water supply in many parts of New Zealand.

One of the truly frightening things about the hugely excessive use of Urea fertilizer is that the current degradation of waterways throughout New Zealand is the consequence of pasture application of Urea many years ago. It’s worth remembering that 915,000 tonnes of Urea was either manufactured in New Zealand or imported into New Zealand during the 2015 / 2016 year and the full effect of run-off from that 915,000 tonnes will not become apparent until around ten years from now.

As if to make a mockery of the Council’s recent public concerns about the state of the City’s water supply, the Council’s website continues (as at time of writing) to wax lyrical about how good the supply is;

“Where our water comes from.

Christchurch’s water supply is one of the best in the world – with untreated drinking water available straight from the tap.

Christchurch's underground aquifers mean residents continue to enjoy an untreated water supply from natural underground reservoirs.”


Council staff recommended temporary chlorination at all of the city's fifty six pump stations, at an initial cost of $600,000. If anyone thinks this will be a temporary measure, they may be dreaming.

According to "Water New Zealand" recently discovered information via Environment Canterbury confirms public concerns about water contamination from intensive farming (currently circa 6,600,000 cows) and belies previous theoretical thinking that  the Waimakariri River acted as a barrier which protected Christchurch's water resources from the pollutant effects of intensive farming.

Rejigit has previously posted several Rejigit Blog rants about the pollution of New Zealand waterways and water systems;


(Leachates in N.Z.’s waterways) 07/08/2017


(More on the sorry plight of N.Z.’s rivers, lakes and streams) 10/05/2017


(Nitrogen run-off is killing New Zealand waterways) 28/04/2017


(N.Z. Government fresh water quality announcement is a hoax) 28/03/2017


(Dark art of environmental vandalism) 11/09/2016