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14 April 2014Despite recent rainfall Waipa District Council will remain at Alert Level Three for Te Awamutu and Pirongia townships for the time being.
Level 3 means there is no use of sprinklers or water systems at any time in Te Awamutu and Pirongia. Hand held hosing is still allowed, but residents should remain mindful of conserving water.
Water alert level requirements and the Smart Water summer campaign began in the Waipa, Hamilton city and Waikato district six months ago.
Waipa’s water manager Lorraine Kendrick said while demand was being managed with the help of residents conserving water, it was the supply from the Maungauika Stream and untreated water reservoir storage which was causing concern.
“Everyone assumes that the recent heavy rain will solve our issues but it is not enough to refill the untreated water reservoir after such a long dry summer. The reservoir which supplies water to bot townships needs clean water coming in from the Maungauika Stream which is then treated to ensure it meets drinking water standards,” she said.
“ The rain has stirred up the stream and we can’t get maximum benefit fromt the rainfall yet.”
She said the area would need a long period of consistent rainfall to return to normal water levels and with the unpredictability of the weather, it was important for the council to be diligent.
“All communities in Waipa are being smart with their water. Residents have been great in helping us so far but after two summers of drought-like conditions we need extra help.”
Ms Kendrick said Council was working with all its customers to manage demand. Fonterra had stepped up its conservation efforts and was currently recording half its normal usage.
“Mangauika Stream on Mt Pirongia is at a low-flow situation and we are asking all connected customers to help us manage that.”
As part of the current 10-year plan Council has agreed to a number of projects to secure the water supply infrastructure to 2050 including running an annual Smart Water Campaign, building a new reservoir in Te Awamutu and planning for a secondary supply for Te Awamutu.
Planning work on those initiatives is nearing completion and will identify what is required to provide security of supply. The Council will then consult on that as part of its next 10-year plan.
For further information please contact
Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of Council) 027 5077 599