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Picton And Waikawa Water Restrictions Lifted

Water restrictions in Picton and Waikawa have now been lifted.

Council’s Operations and Maintenance Engineer Stephen Rooney says cooler weather, evenings drawing in and heavy dews along with a few scattered showers in the past few weeks have reduced demand. “People are using less water which is common for this time of year as gardening tapers off,” he said.

“We are now able to lift the restrictions although we do still ask Picton and Waikawa residents to conserve water. While we are still unable to use Essons Valley due to algae in the dam, the Speeds Road water treatment plant is meeting demand,” Mr Rooney said.

Water restrictions were put in place on 9 January after hot weather, high demand and a reduced water level in the Essons Valley dam pushed the town’s supply to its limit, leaving it reliant on the Speeds Road supply and reservoirs at the Elevation and Victoria Domain.

Prior to the restrictions, the Picton and Waikawa community was using more than 6000 m3 of water per day; after restrictions took effect this dropped to 4000 m3, Mr Rooney said. “We want to thank the everyone for their efforts to save water while the restrictions were in place. Thanks for making every drop count,” Mr Rooney said.

Council had long planned to install waters meters in the town, beginning this year or next, he said. “The introduction of water meters will help Council and the community to reduce demand - water meters encourage people to conserve water and reduce leaks significantly.”

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After meters were installed in Renwick, Seddon, Wairau Valley and Havelock demand dropped in those townships by up to 35 per cent. Wasteful leaks have also been eliminated through the metering programme.

“There are no cheap or easy solutions for sourcing more fresh water for Picton so metering is by far the best and most cost effective solution for reducing future demand. Council proposes to bring the metering project forward and start talking with the community about it over the next 12 months,” said Mr Rooney.

These were the first major water restrictions in Picton since the summer of 2000/01.

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