30 January 2015
Council puts ban on washing fleet vehicles
The Gore District Council has put a ban on washing its fleet vehicles as the District moves to level 3 water restrictions.
District Assets General Manager Paul Withers said as part of the Council’s water saving efforts staff were today told not to wash any of the 40 or so vehicles. They have been told to keep windscreens and lights clean though to ensure vehicles can be operated safely.
“When people see a dirty Council vehicle around the District hopefully it will remind them of the water restrictions and need to conserve water.”
Low river levels and a long range rainfall forecast that offers no real relief from the drought conditions were the catalyst for upgrading water restrictions, he said.
“The next couple of months are traditionally our driest so it’s important to act now to ensure there’s enough water for everyone to get through the summer and autumn.”
Level 3 restrictions mean there is a total ban on unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems. Handheld hoses can be used only between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on alternative days, that is even numbered properties on even days and vice versa.
Mr Withers said the Council was always conscious of its water usage and in recent years has upgraded sprinkler systems to ensure water is directed to the right place, at the best time of day and for the appropriate length of time.
At the same time, the Council was mindful of people’s expectations to have the Main Street and public gardens looking their best, he said.
Mr Withers noted the only reserve being irrigated at present was Newman Park, where the water was sourced from a well.
“The ground is so hard right now that we have to do this from a safety perspective for pre-season rugby training.”
If everyone makes even small changes to their water usage it can make a big difference, Mr Withers said.
Water Saving Tips
- Reduce the number of times you wash clothes – top loader machines can use almost 100litres each wash.
- If possible collect some of the water from your washing machine and use this on your lawns or gardens.
- Collect some of your shower water in buckets and use this water on flowers, shrubs etc. You could use this water to wash the car or better still leave the car dirty.
- Three minute showers maximum. Showers can use 10 to 15 litres per minute. So put a timer in the bathroom and monitor the children.
- Place a bowl in the sink to wash dishes in. This will reduce the volume of water used and the water could be used around shrubs etc.
- Place the plug in the hand basin before turning on the tap when washing hands.
- Turn the tap off when brushing teeth.