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Water use down, pipe repairs progressing well

Water Crisis Media Release (5)

Release date: Friday 10 January 2013

Water use down, pipe repairs progressing well.

Gisborne people are continuing to save water. Water consumption is now down by a third. If the savings continue, water rationing measures that looked likely earlier in the week will not be required, says Gisborne District Council deputy chief executive Peter Higgs. “Our target was to reduce water use to less than 14,000m3 per day. This was achieved yesterday. Thank you to all the Gisborne people who have made this happen.”

“Good progress is being made fixing the pipes. Fulton Hogan, the contractor tasked with the repair job, has had staff working 24/7. They have brought in a range of subcontractors to get the job done as soon as possible. While yesterday’s rain was brilliant in reducing demand for water, it had the potential to delay the pipe welding. This hold up was overcome by erecting rain proof gazebos above the areas where the welding was required.”

“We are now expecting that the pipe will be repaired and the water flowing again by mid next week. In the mean time it is vital that we all keep our water use to a minimum. Until the pipe can reliably bring water from the Mangopoike Dams into the Waingake Treatment Plant we will continue to rely on emergency supplies from the Waipaoa Treatment Plant, and a small amount from the Te Arai River. We are aware that there will be extra pressure on our water supply next week as our major food processors ramp up production.”

Even when we are able to get the pipe running again it will not be at full capacity for some time, says Chief executive Judy Campbell. We will need people to be careful with water until the end of summer.”

“The reason we need to save water now because we are using more water than we can produce from our emergency water treatment operations. If we empty the town reservoirs then we will need to introduce rationing - that is turning off water supply for several hours a day. This will not only be inconvenient it will possibly contaminate the water (because when the pipes empty contaminants can get sucked back onto the pipes). That would mean we would all have to boil our water. If we continue to use less water than the treatment plants produce then the reservoirs will have enough water in them to continue to provide a careful supply 24/7” 

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