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Level Two Water Restrictions remain for Palmerston North

20 March 2013

Level Two Water Restrictions remain in place for Palmerston North

Recent heavy rain has failed to provide significant relief to Palmerston North’s Upper Turitea Dam and Level Two Water restrictions will remain in place for the immediate future.

Level Two water restrictions were introduced on Saturday, 2 March 2013 in a bid to prevent a total outdoor watering ban. Water consumed in the city is derived from a small number of bores and the Turitea dams located in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges.

Water asset engineer Dora Luo says the long awaited rainfall that fell between Sunday and Tuesday bought 44mm of rain, however it fell on parched soils.

The Upper Turitea Dam rose by 0.6 metres however it has since begun falling again and unfortunately there is no significant rain predicted in the long-term forecast. “We could be facing a situation similar to the last big dry in 2003 when the city was without significant rain until mid-May.”

Dora Luo says the effort made by the community in reducing demand for water is appreciated, however; “We’re not out of the woods and therefore we’re unable to relax restrictions if we’re to avoid further restrictions and increased water quality issues.”

Level Two Water Restrictions – what does it mean for me?:

• Handheld hoses may only be used between 7pm to 9pm on alternate days. Houses with even street numbers on even days. Houses with odd street numbers on odd days.
• Any unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems are prohibited.

Dora Luo says Council staff are also mindful that as the depth of the dam drops the quality of the water declines making it more difficult to treat. It is possible that iron and manganese levels in the water could rise. This can lead to the build-up of deposits in the water trunk mains which causes discoloured water. It is removed by Swabbing and flushing fire hydrants, however Swabbing can only be done when the Manawatū River is at a high flow.

“A build-up of iron and manganese could lead to reticulation problems in the city, which we are keen to avoid if at all possible.”

Dora Luo says the drought conditions serve as a good reminder that water is a finite resource. We all need to adopt water conservation habits including:
• using a bowl or plug in the sink when washing vegetables or hand washing dishes
• turn the tap off while brushing teeth, or shaving
• teach your children to only partially open taps, this saves water and avoids the mess caused by the splashing.

Meanwhile, Ashhurst, Longburn and Bunnythorpe residents are being advised that while no restrictions are currently in place, Council staff are monitoring the situation and water restrictions may be required in the future.

--


Editor’s notes:

Palmerston North City Council has four levels of restrictions, they include:

Level 0: No restrictions apply

Level 1: Sprinkler use evenings only, every two days. Unattended hoses, sprinklers, and garden irrigation systems can only be used between 7pm and 9pm; for even numbered houses on even dates, and odd numbered houses on odd dates. Handheld hoses can be used at any time.

Level 2: Sprinkler use prohibited. Handheld hoses only, every two days. Unattended hoses, sprinklers, and garden irrigation systems can not be used. Handheld hoses can only be used between 7pm and 9pm; for even numbered houses on even dates, and odd numbered houses on odd dates.

Level 3: Irrigation prohibited. Unattended hoses, sprinklers, garden irrigation systems and handheld hoses can not be used. Car washing by handheld hose is also prohibited.

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