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Disruption to industry unlikely thanks to water savings

Water Crisis Media Release (7)

Release date: Monday 13 January 2013

Disruption to industry unlikley thanks to water savings

Gisborne people achieved fantastic water savings over the weekend, keeping under the target of 14,000m3 per day. Adding to the challenge was the fact that some industry started up yesterday (Sunday). Water use by industry will continue to increase over the next couple of weeks as the processing of horticultural produce ramps up.

This industry is vital for the Gisborne district, says deputy chief executive Peter Higgs. “One of our aims when planning the repair of Gisborne’s broken main water supply pipe was to avoid any disruption to industry. At this stage that looks like that will be achieved.”

“Processing industries are one of Gisborne biggest employers, bringing millions of dollars of revenue into the district. Any disruption to their production capability would mean loss of income to employees. We have been working with the big water users since the crisis began last week to encourage them to implement their water shortage contingency plans. They will continue to look for ways to conserve water use, just like other members of the community. We are now confident that they can carry on with their business without any disruption.”

“The water savings efforts of people have been phenomenal. Without the support of our whole community would not be in the position we are now. The community has acted so swiftly to reduce water consumption. It has made our job so much easier than it would have been otherwise.”

Meanwhile reinstatement of the pipeline made considerable progress over the weekend. Water flow through the repaired pipeline was tested at a reduced flow of 300m3/hr. “This process will take days; it's not just a matter of turning the water back on. The testing involves slowly increasing the pressure on the welded section of the pipeline to check for leaks. There is approximately a 15 minute delay as the water travels 12km from the dam to the Waingake Treatment Plant.”

“We are also checking the welded joints for weeping. If there is weeping then the flow is shutoff, the pipe drained, welds fixed and the process starts again. To help keep the pipe stable anchor piles are being constructed to support the pipes. Two seven metre deep piles have already been constructed to restrain and support the pipe. These require considerable earthworks which are continuing today.”

“The scenario this week is that gradually some water from the Mangapoike dams will be added to the supply that is currently being sourced from Waipaoa. All going well, this will help us meet the increased demand from industry.”

Also from today water carriers will be permitted to cart water to those that are not on town supply and are running short. Water carriers can now deliver water to rural, Wainui and Makaraka households, maraes and schools. This is only possible thanks to the water conservation efforts of Gisborne people. Gisborne District Council thanks those who have been struggling with water shortages for their patience and cooperation.

• Council will be checking some water valves on main pipelines around the city from today (Monday 13 January). Council contractors may also want to turn on an outside tap at certain properties to verify the valve checking process. As part of the process small numbers of properties may not have any water for a short period. Affected properties will be visited and get an information sheet.

• It is anticipated that consumption will go up this week. Major Industry water meters are being monitored on a daily basis.

• No decision has been made on what medium term water restrictions will be required. The hose ban is still in place, and some water conservation is likely to be required 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/

• 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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