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Ramped up water restrictions

A change meaning people can only water their gardens every second day is being brought in to avoid people at the ends of the town supply running out of water.

Water pressure to some homes in Bridge Pa, Flaxmere and Havelock North had got down to almost a trickle several times in the last week.

The water restriction level, affecting Hastings, Flaxmere, Havelock North and Bridge Pa, is staying at two with garden watering limited to 6am to 8am or 7pm to 9pm as previously. The change is that residents in odd numbered homes can only water on odd dates and even number home owners on even dates.

“There is a particular problem in the evenings when water use is so great that the pressure drops and some homes at the end of the water system are getting very little water,” says mayor Lawrence Yule.

“We need to help each other here so that our neighbours at the end of the lines don’t go without water. It is hoped that by limiting the number of people using the system to half at a time we can ensure that everyone has enough.

“It is a method used widely by lots of councils and we have used it here in Hastings in the past,” said Mr Yule.

He reiterated that there is no shortage of water; rather it is the inability of the pumping system to keep up during times of heavy use; typically in the evenings “when we’re all trying to keep our gardens alive, cook dinner and bath the kids”.

The supply issue had arisen because the Havelock North pumps had to be closed after the contamination of the Havelock North water supply in August, dropping pumping capacity by about 20 per cent.

“We want everyone to be able to water the gardens but we have to make every effort to make sure all our people have drinking water in their houses. We’re bringing in this ‘every second night’ rule to help make sure we don’t have to take the restrictions back up to level three.”

Mr Yule said Council staff were working hard on bringing more pumps on line. “We will keep everyone up to date as we are able to make changes that help us keep supply at a level that meets demand.” 

For more on water conservation see: www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/water-conservation

4 October 2017

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