Chlorine-filtered taps could be on the cards for Napier residents.
Napier City councillors will soon be discussing the viability of having chlorine-filtered taps installed, a council spokeswoman told Hawke's Bay Today. This was expected to be discussed at the year's first council meeting at the end of the month.
Although the majority of the city's water supply was chlorinated for most of 2017, residents had access to chlorine-free taps at the Pettigrew Green Arena, and then the Tareha Recreational Reserve, in Taradale.
However residents have been without a chlorine-free water source since the taps were shut off as a health precaution in December, when a positive E. coli reading was detected in the unchlorinated Otatara reservoir, which serviced the taps and about 200 households.
Council were unable to provide more details about the chlorine-filtered taps.
Napier mayor Bill Dalton said it was an "interesting concept". Given the uptake of the previous taps, he thought they would be well used if council decided to install them.
But because of the low dosage of chlorine in the public water supply, he said "if we put in [chlorine-filtered] taps ... I think people will get very sick of travelling to filter them."
"The fact is we only have a very low dose of chlorine in our water anyway, because our water is a very good water supply, we only put in what we have to."
Since the Taradale taps were closed last year, it is understood some Napier residents have been travelling to use the public chlorine and fluoride filtered taps in Hastings.
Others, like Napier's Sandra Hagan, have taken to buying bottled water rather than drink the chlorinated supply.
"I don't like the taste and I don't think it's good for you," she said. "I won't give it to my grandkids and I don't even like giving it to my animals."
Since the taps closed, she had been buying water but did not like the environmental impact. Although she had a rainwater tank - which her animals now used - she needed a distiller to use it for human consumption.
"I'm not impressed, I think there should be an alternative. I'm not going to keep buying water."
Although her ideal solution would be having the chlorine removed from the water supply completely, she supported the idea of having chlorine-filtered taps installed.
This year the Napier City Council is set to continue on a programme of work to improve the water supply. An update last year had a third of the 28 items in the improvement plan behind schedule. Eleven had been completed.
The chlorination of the Taradale reservoir in December was the third time chlorine had been added to the city's water supply after positive E. coli readings last year.
This year the council will also be consulting on a $9.5 million plan to improve the water supply during the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 process.