Water without fluoride available in Hamilton

By Ged Cann

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The unfluoridated water supply, first discussed after the reintroduction of fluoride back into Hamilton's water supply has progressed to the next step, with two locations selected for housing outlets.

Hamilton City Council's finance committee selected a tap at the Claudelands Event Centre along with an existing water supply bore at Taitua Arboretum which is naturally low in fluoride.

Council's city waters manager Andrew Parsons said the Claudelands tap would use de-ionising technology to remove the fluoride and chlorine from water as it flowed, meaning there would be no need for storage tanks on-site.

Mr Andrews anticipated the flow rate would take minutes to fill a 10 litre container.

With the Government's recent proposal to hand authority to fluoridate water to District Health Boards, the prospect of future complications with the sites was raised.

"If there was an instruction to not fluoride you could turn off the deioniser at Claudelands," Mr Andrews said.

"Talking to the DHB I think 2018 or 2019 is the earliest they expect to exercise any decision making, if at all."

Both outlets will be provided and maintained by the Hamilton City Council, with the two expected to cost $70,000 to set up with an annual operating cost around $6000.

The Taitua Arboretum option was given a B grade under the New Zealand Drinking Water Standard.

"B-grade is very good. The reason the Taitua received a B grade is there's no chlorine in it, it's safe to drink, there's not question of that at all. What it means is if you were to take a large bottle away and store it for months it could grow algae in it. There's no residual sterilising agent in it," Mr Andrews said.

The Taitua Arboretum is available for use now while the Claudelands Park tap is expected to be established around the end of June.

- Hamilton News

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