Talking about the Havelock North water contamination, a participant asked was a sanitary well survey conducted and are daily bacteria tests run on the system.
Right, there were some, when I was referring to operational issues, that particular, it’s a long story.
They had done well surveys but they haven’t done one recently.
And they’d had previous problems with that well, like 20 years ago and those problems had been overlooked, and they knew that the well wasn’t as good as it could be and had put a new well in.
And the new well got some contamination, so they’ve got closed it off and went back to the old one.
So it was a whole, it’s like – we’ve been using that Swiss cheese analogy – that we’ve got to get the holes to line up for something to a problem.
And in this particular case, they’d had the warning shots. They had got lost in the history of the municipality.
People have forgotten about them, and ultimately all the holes lined up, and you turn the lock and the thing’s unsafe.
Our previous water regulations require testing every second or third day.
Since the Incident, everybody has been testing daily. But we haven’t had the labs available to do that level of testing.
So, there’s a whole, another stream part of the government, federal inquiry essentially saying hey, do we need to have daily testing or even more frequent than that in these situations. And that’s still a conversation that’s ongoing because obviously, it poses a different level of cost on the communities as well, particularly tiny towns.
One webinar participant asked do you use a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to manage the assets and is it GIS-based.
Yes, okay so, every community in New Zealand has been doing asset management now for nearly 20 years. Everybody has inventories. Everybody has computerized management systems.
This particular authority or municipality also had an optimized decision-making analysis system really at the cutting edge of practice in New Zealand and pushing the envelope. Hence, all of that side of it, they’re really on top of in terms of pipe replacement, all of that sort of stuff.
But what had happened is the wells had become a little bit invisible in that system.
They just had the inventory information, but for a whole heap of reasons, that has to do with personnel and stuff like that as well, they weren’t getting the maintenance history and the inspection history for the wells into the system.
Just about every other part of the assets they own, and they had that going but not only for the wells for some particular reasons.
And they had a lot of electrical information, and they had SCADA on the wells for the pumps and the high level, all of that sort of good stuff.
Some gaps were found to be quite deficient and were criticized broadly during the inquiry.
So, yeah, so again, you can have a system, but if one particular part of the organization decides not to use it or to use it infrequently, that can create problems for you.
This is why on the slide there, I have operational issues. And sometimes I am not doing it, and you go well – we’re going, are we going to fire them.
Now look, they’re really, really good hands-on operators, they know their job.
Oh, we’ll just live with it sort of thing, you know, and this is where you open the door with this sort of stuff.
It would be fair to say that their asset management practice has all changed in the last year, they now have very, very rigorous record-keeping around wells and other things, but again, it’s a little bit late for that particular town.