10 September 2018

Exploratory drilling for new water sources planned

The hunt is on for more water for Gore and Mataura.

The Gore District Council in planning to this week start exploratory drilling at three sites in Gore and one in Mataura in a bid to find water to supplement the two towns existing supplies.

McNeill Drilling will drill test holes at Cooper’s Wells, Maitland Street, and the Hamilton Street playground, in Gore, and on the north-east side of the Mataura River, at Mataura. The work is expected to take four days.

3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss said the sites were chosen based on hydrological data, discussions with Environment Southland, existing bore performance, local knowledge and water divining.

“Our aim is to find out how much water may be available and whether it was worth drilling a bore for abstraction.”

At present Gore’s main water sources are Cooper’s Wells, 5km north-east of Gore, and the Jacobstown wells, just north of Gore near the Waimea Highway. The wells are separated by the Mataura River.

Mr Bayliss said while Cooper’s Wells has struggled to keep up with demand over the past 12 months, Jacobstown has coped very well.

As a result, the Council has been able to shift more demand onto the Jacobstown well. However, the extent with which it can do this is limited by existing infrastructure.

“We will have much better control over this once we install a new pipeline across the river as part of the $5.6 million water treatment project, planned for completion in June 2020.”

Mr Bayliss said there was enough water available from the new bore at the Gore A&P showgrounds to supplement Gore’s water demand as well as supply Mataura Valley Milk. However, the Council would need to install approximately 4.5km of new pipeline to take the water from the showgrounds to the East Gore treatment plant.

This would be in addition to the proposed new pipeline across the river to the north of Gore.

“Finding a new water source closer to East Gore will save us time and money.”

The drilling will be carried out between 8.30am and 3.30pm to ensure the least impact on nearby properties. There are other potential sites where drilling may occur depending on the outcome of the preferred sites. 


Water Facts 

The water being supplied to Mataura Valley Milk from the well at the Gore A&P showgrounds has no impact on the water level in Cooper’s Wells.

Water take consents for dairy farms are consented and monitored by Environment Southland.

The main means of recharging the aquifer that feeds water to Cooper’s Wells is high flow levels (flooding) in the Mataura River.

Gore water supply network consist of about 116km of pipeline, with 3850 commercial and residential connections. The scheme supplies an average of 3.9 million litres of water per day.

Cooper’s Wells provides on average 2.65 million litres of water per day.

Water from Cooper’s Wells is pumped to the East Gore Water Treatment Plant before being distributed to East Gore, as well as being pumped across the river to properties on lower lying land in Central Gore and West Gore.

The Jacobstown Wells provide on average 1.2 million litres of water per day.

Water from Jacobstown is pumped to the Hilbre Avenue Water Treatment Plant where it is treated before being distributed to West Gore properties.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: