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Timaru To Go To Level 2 As Water Issue Continues To Resolve

Timaru District Council is thanking the community for their support as it moves the city to Level 2 Water Restrictions from noon on Friday.

Moving down to Level 2 restrictions enables people to now use a single handheld hose or microjet system for two hours from 6pm to 8am rather than one. Sprinkler use and lawn watering is still not allowed and residents and industry are being asked to use other conservation methods where they can.

Three Waters Advisor Ashley Harper, who is managing the event, said that thanks to the community and the supplementation programme storage levels at the Claremont Reservoirs had now topped 90%, and had both made a real difference to resolving the discolouration issue.

“Everyone in the community has done a great job in conserving water, which has been a huge support to everyone working to tackle the discolouration issue,” he said.

“With water storage levels at Claremont now sitting higher than 90% we have the confidence that we can start reducing water restriction levels while still ensuring we can weather any minor interruptions to our Pareora supply.

“Thanks to this work, and the support of the community, the water discolouration issue has significantly improved for the majority of people in Timaru. There may be pockets of discoloured water at some parts of the network, these will should resolve in line with the rest of the network over time.”

While the water has remained safe to drink through the whole incident the acute issue is resolving, Council is continuing to work with expert advice and partner agencies to identify the root cause of the problem and any long term mitigations that can be put in place.

“The levels of manganese have always been below the levels allowed under the drinking water standards and has always met the drinking water standards. However, it hasn’t been up to our, nor our community’s, quality expectations,” said Harper.

“Although water at the tap is clearer, we’re continuing to work on the source of the issue.

“After the initial spike the amount we’re seeing is slowly declining, so we’re hoping that points to a specific event, such as last year’s flooding in May, to be the cause.

“Knowing whether it’s a one off issue or it’s a more sustained one will help guide our decisions on what to do about it in the long term.”

It is expected that Timaru City will continue at Level 2 for at least a week with the view to reducing restrictions providing that storage levels remain high, the Pareora source remains available for use and manganese levels at Opihi remain at a manageable level. The Gleniti water tankering programme has now finished.

“As well as thanking the community I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all our contractors and suppliers who have helped us get on top of this issue so quickly,” said Harper.

More information about the issue can be found at Timaru.govt.nz/discolouration

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