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Water pipe reconnected but needs to be stabilised

Water pipe reconnected but needs to be stabilised.

A huge effort by Gisborne District Council staff and contractors Fulton Hogan has seen Gisborne’s main water pipe reconnected four days after it first broke. The pipeline bringing high quality water down from Mangopoike Dams to the Waingake Treatment Plant broke early on Tuesday morning. Since then a major repair job has been underway. The broken pipe was buried by six metres of material and had to be dug out. Large quantities of dirt and vegetation have been removed to unearth the pipe, extensive work completed to stabilise the site and gazebos have even been erected so that pipe welding could continue in the rain.

The broken pipe has now been joined but we are not out of the woods yet, says deputy chief executive Peter Higgs. “The pipe is not ready for water at the moment. The area where the pipe broke is steep and has never been particularly stable due to extensive bush felling prior to 1940. The area is regenerating. Trees were planted to increase stability but the risk of slips will always be an issue. Piles are now being entrenched into the steep slope. They will be used to support the pipe where the break occurred.”

“Only then will we start testing the repairs by allowing a small amount of water to be gravity fed down through the pipe. This is likely to happen early next week. We will continue testing the repaired pipe for the next ten days starting with a flow of 200m3 per hour and building to full capacity (1000m3 per hour).”`

“Considering the scale of the repair and the dedication of staff and contractors working 24/7 we are happy with the speed with which this crisis is being resolved. It is just in time; with food processing starting full production next week, we will need all the water we can get.”

Gisborne people again made a huge effort saving water. Daily consumption to 8am today (Saturday 11 January) was 12,302m3; well under the saving target despite no rain yesterday.

We are very grateful for the magnificent water saving efforts of the Gisborne public, added Mr Higgs. With water consumption down by a third again yesterday, storage in the city reservoirs has increased. This means that water rationing is looking less likely and that there will be no disruption to the district’s major food processors.”

“People’s water saving efforts have been inspirational. We have had examples of businesses volunteering to stop services that use a lot of water, many people contacting us with water saving tips, neighbours working together to ensure all in their area know about the water situation and don’t use their hose. We will be meeting with the major industrial water users next week to thank them for their efforts and discuss how we can work together to meet our water usage targets.”

Water usage figures are likely to jump next week as food processors increase production.

Gisborne people and businesses need to be careful with water for the next 10 days and the hose ban will continue until the end of summer.

About 80% of the city water supply is currently being supplied from the Waipaoa River and treated through the Waipaoa Treatment plant. This water is described as 'hard water' with higher levels of calcium and magnesium than the soft water normally supplied from Mangapoike Dams. http://www.gdc.govt.nz/drinking-water-hard-or-soft/
If you rely on tank water and are running low, contact one of the water carriers and let them know how many days water you have left. Council will assess the need and allow some deliveries of water to those in special circumstances.

People can still use bore water to water their grounds and gardens. If you have a bore and you want to use it without getting hassled, signs are available. Contact Council, who will check the bore and issue a sign.


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