News Archive

News

15 January 2018

Mataura water supply crisis eases

Mataura water supply update #5

Mataura’s water supply crisis has eased with the reservoir recovering to 87% capacity today.

Gore District Council 3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss said the emergency water take from the Mataura River, combined with residents’ conserving water, has enabled the reservoir to recover.

“However, we are not out of the woods yet.”

A significant drawdown of water from the reservoir over the weekend had jeopardised the town’s water supply. Efforts to locate the cause have had limited success so far.

The Council brought in specialist company Detection Services yesterday to investigate if there was a major leak in the network.

Mr Bayliss said two notable leaks have been found but nothing that would account for the 300,000 litres a day water loss experienced at the weekend.

“We have found a couple of leaks that were losing about 30,000 litres a day each, which constitutes 20 percent of the increased drawdown.

“So it could be that a series of leaks combined with extraordinarily high demand was the cause.”

The Council expects to have a clearer picture on Friday, when Detection Services is due to finish surveying the town.

Meanwhile, the Pluera Dam, which is the town’s main water source, has dropped to an extremely low level. As a result the Council will have to continue pumping water from the Mataura River to supplement the water supply, Mr Bayliss said.

While the river water is treated and safe to drink, there have been taste issues in the past. To make sure Mataura residents have drinking water, the Council has a water tanker located outside the Mataura Service Centre, in McQueen Avenue.

Mr Bayliss thanked residents for their cooperation in conserving water and their patience as the Council works to resolve the supply issues.

Both Mataura and Gore will remain on level 4 water restrictions for the foreseeable future. At level 4 there is a total ban on unattended hoses, sprinklers, garden irrigation systems and handheld hoses. Car washing by handheld hose prohibited.


 

Mataura water supply update #4

Tuesday 16 January, 4.00pm

The Gore District Council started pumping water from the Mataura River this afternoon to supplement the Mataura water supply.

A significant drawdown of water from the reservoir over the last few days has jeopardised the town’s water supply. Efforts to locate the cause have so far been unsuccessful.

The reservoir dropped to only 39 percent capacity overnight but had recovered to 43 percent capacity by this morning.

3 Waters Asset Manager said the river water will go through the town’s treatment plant and be mixed with water from the Pleura Dam and Waikana Stream to minimise any taste issues.

“It is safe to drink. However, we know from experience that the river water impacts on taste.”

The Council will bring in water from outside the district to supply residents with drinking water.

A water tanker will be on site tomorrow outside the Mataura Service Centre, in McQueen Avenue. Residents are asked to use the hand sanitize provided before filling their containers.

“We would also ask people to only use the tanker to get water for drinking.”

Mr Bayliss said the additional water from the river should see the reservoir start recovering and hold its own. 

Detection Services began its investigations this afternoon. It has specialist diagnostic equipment that will identify if there are any major leaks in the network.

“We should know more within 24 hours.

“If there’s no major leak, then extraordinary consumption may be the cause.”

Level 4 restrictions remain in place for Mataura. This means a total ban on unattended hoses, sprinklers, garden irrigation systems and handheld hoses. Car washing by handheld hose prohibited.


 

Mataura water supply update #3

Tuesday 16 January, 12 noon

The Mataura reservoir dropped to only 39 percent capacity overnight forcing the Gore District Council to activate its emergency water take from the Mataura River, albeit for only an hour. 

Water will be pumped from the river to the town’s water treatment plant and blended with water from the Pleura Dam and Waikana Stream to minimise taste issues.

3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss said any change to the taste should be minor, at this stage. The water from the river would boost the reservoir level.

“We will review the situation this afternoon. However, at this stage it looks as though we may have to pump fulltime from the river."

After dropping as low as only 39 percent, the reservoir had recovered to 43 percent capacity by this morning, which means the net water loss was slowing, he said.

“It appears residents are taking notice of the water restrictions, which is great. “

The search for the cause of the major water loss that prompted level 4 water restrictions yesterday (Monday) continues.

Leak Detection Services will begin its investigations this afternoon. It has specialist diagnostic equipment that will identify if there are any major leaks in the network.

“We should know more within 24 hours.

“If there’s no major leak, then extraordinary consumption may be the cause.”


 

MATAURA WATER SUPPLY UPDATE #2

Monday 15 January, 5.00pm

The Gore District Council’s 3 Waters team has not found the cause of a major loss of water from Mataura’s network despite a thorough survey of the town today.

The Council will tomorrow bring in Leak Detection Services to assist with the search. It has the technical expertise and equipment to help identify if there is a leak in the network.

All monitoring equipment shows there is enough water going into the treatment plant from the Pleura Dam.

The Council is investigating all possibilities for the cause of the water loss, including a significant leak or extraordinary consumption given the unprecedented hot weather.

Commercial water tankers were instructed this morning (Monday 15 January) not to take water from the Mataura supply.

Commercial water tankers have had a consent to access water from the Mataura for a number of years. This activity had no impact on reservoir levels at the town prior to this weekend.

Level 4 water restrictions remain in place for the town. This means a total ban on unattended hoses, sprinklers, garden irrigation systems and handheld hoses. Car washing by handheld hose prohibited.

The Council will be closely monitoring the impact Level 4 water restrictions and the ban on commercial water tankers has on consumption levels.

The Council has implemented pressure demand management measures to reduce water consumption therefore residents are likely to notice a drop in pressure. However, all residents should continue to receive water, if there is a total loss in water supply please contact us, phone 2090330

The reservoir had dropped to 50% by this afternoon. Statistics re: Mataura water storage and use are:

  • Total storage in the reservoir is 1800 m3
  • The number of connections in Mataura are 777
  • Average daily demand is 1100 m3/day
  • Peak demand over the weekend was 1679 m3/day

 

The Gore District Council’s 3 Waters team is working overtime to locate the reason for a sudden and significant drawdown of water from Mataura’s reservoir that is jeopardising the town’s water supply.

Level 4 water restrictions were put in place today (Monday 15 January) for Mataura as the town’s reservoir drops to critical levels. The water level reached a low of 45% yesterday afternoon but had recovered to 54% this morning.

3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss said the reservoir started haemorrhaging water about mid-day on Friday. Until then it was maintaining 85% to 95% capacity.

“The drawdown appears to be constant, continuing through the night, which suggests there’s a major leak somewhere in the network.”

Staff were this morning surveying the entire network to find the leak. Residents are also being asked to check their properties in case the leak is on private land.

Given the volume of water being lost from the system, the location of the leak should be fairly obvious, Mr Bayliss said.

“If anyone has noticed a small lake or a significant flow of water on their property or a neighbour’s land please give us a call.”

They can contact the Council’s customer service team on 2090330.

Residents are being urged to conserve water. The level 4 restrictions were only until the leak is found and fixed, Mr Bayliss said.

Residents can expect low water pressure and discoloured water until the problem is resolved, he said.

Water is presently being pumped from the Waikana Stream to supplement the water supply and the Council is considering initiating emergency pumping from the Mataura River.

“This is a last resort though as we know pumping from the river causes taste and odour issues.

The Council has stopped commercial water tankers from taking water from the town’s supply.

A further update will be provided at 4.00pm today.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: info@goredc.govt.nz