Well owners take advantage of free testing

A well water testing day in Temuka and Fairlie showed that many South Cantabrians are making an effort to check their private water supply is safe to drink.

On Monday 16 May more than 86 private well water samples were analysed for nitrate concentrations at the two Well Water Checks, organised by the Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora (OTOP) Water Zone Committee.

The testing, which was carried out on the spot, only took about 15 minutes per sample which gave participants time to talk to zone committee members about water quality issues and also how to undertake tests for bacteria like E.coli.

Zone committee chair, Lucy Millar, was pleased with the event and had received positive feedback from attendees.

“I think the day was really successful, especially given the number of samples that were processed. We’re grateful to everyone that helped at both events to make this happen.

“The Well Water Checks definitely achieved the committee’s aim of raising awareness of the importance of knowing about your own water quality and how to go about further testing.”

Raising water testing awareness

Lucy also noted the positive community connections evident in the rural areas in South Canterbury.

“It was great that many people had coordinated their efforts with their neighbours, to make sure they could get a sample tested if they couldn't attend in person. There were also many conversations going on between different landowners about water quality issues – which was fantastic to see.”

The testing undertaken for nitrate concentrations at the events aimed to give well owners a good indication of their current levels but, because it was not undertaken in a laboratory setting, was not scientifically conclusive.

The water zone committee will discuss and debrief on the Well Water Checks at its next meeting on 13 June at Timaru District Council at 1.30pm.

Find out more about keeping your private water supply safe.


About the committee: The OTOP Committee is a joint committee of community members, councils and rūnanga. Its role is to work with the community to develop actions and tactics to deliver on the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. It recommends these actions and tactics to various agencies for implementation.
Testing of well water

Testing of well water

Zone committee members Councillor Barb Gilchrist and Lucy Millar (Chair) discuss well water testing with an attendee

Zone committee members Councillor Barb Gilchrist and Lucy Millar (Chair) discuss well water testing with an attendee