The quality of drinking water in Featherston and Greytown will improve due to a South Wairarapa District Council project expected to be completed by Christmas.

The project being carried out for the two towns' water supplies will ensure security of supply, according to SWDC chief executive Paul Crimp.

A water treatment plant built at Woodside in 2000 to supply water to Featherston and Greytown has been a challenge for the council, the main issue being the inability of the plant to process suitable drinking water when the Waiohine River remained in flood.

In 2011 seed funding from the Ministry of Health under the drinking-water subsidy programme was used to investigate a ground water source to use as an alternative to the river water.


SWDC drilled two bores near the plant and as a result found water of a suitable quality for drinking.

The council sought more money from the ministry in 2013 and 2015 for funding to install two further bores to ensure they could meet the towns' water needs.

"We trialled two bores and then once we knew that they were suitable we knew the project could go ahead," Mr Crimp said.

In total the SWDC received a $667,500 subsidy from the Ministry of Health.

"So now we have got that money we can connect those test bores into fully functioning units. We need four bores to pull enough water to suit our needs."

Mr Crimp said the project would greatly benefit the district.

"We'll have a better quality source water not requiring filtration, and as a result lower production costs," he said.

"We will be able to comply with the current New Zealand Drinking Water Standards and have better security of supply for both Featherston and Greytown," Mr Crimp said.