24 January 2018
Council turns off sprinklers
The sprinklers have been turned off this week to the public gardens, Main Street centre plot annual beds and roadside annual garden plots in Gore and Mataura.
In what is believed to be a first, the Gore District Council will stop watering all annual garden plots in the two towns due to water restrictions.
Watering of the hanging flower baskets in both towns will continue.
Last week the Council halved the watering time for the hanging baskets and reviewed adjusting the watering regime for the annual garden plots. Since Christmas there has also been a ban on staff washing fleet vehicles.
Chief executive Stephen Parry said extraordinary times called for extraordinary measures.
Gore and Mataura were likely to remain on level 4 restrictions in the interim, with continued hot weather forecast and the Mataura River flow extremely low.
Mr Parry said it was his understanding that the annual garden plots should get some sustenance from whatever little rainfall there is.
“So they should be able to survive unlike the hanging baskets, which are under the verandah.”
The Council was mindful of having the town looking as good as possible for the huge influx of visitors for Southern Field Days, he said.
”They (the hanging baskets) only use about the same amount of water each day as a residential property,” Mr Parry said.
Parks and Recreation Manager Ian Soper said staff will monitor the annual beds.
“We may consider using the spraying unit to water the main beds by hand.”
Mr Soper said irrigating the main arena at the Gore showgrounds will continue.
The sand-based arena was a significant district asset used by a lot of community groups, as well as the Gore A&P Association, which has its annual show next weekend.
“Losing the arena would impact on summer and winter users, such as rugby.”
Mr Soper said irrigating was due to start next week at Newman Park rugby grounds. Residents should not be alarmed though as the water will be drawn from a bore not the town supply.
The Council is continuing to draw water from the Mataura River to supplement the Mataura water supply.
In the past there have been issues with taste, and a water tanker has been in place for about a week to provide residents with drinking water.
3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss said due to the low usage of water from the tanker, and the supplier desperately wanting their trailer back, the Council was setting up a smaller water tank on a trailer.