5 February 2018

Otama water scheme pipeline repairs

Otama Water Pipeline Repair Update

Saturday 10 February 

The water is back on. It is pleasing to report that after a busy couple of days on site we were able to turn the scheme pumps back on at about 6:00 pm today.

Water is now at the top of the hill and starting to fill the main reservoir.

We will  be monitoring the scheme closely over the next 48 hours and provide a further update on Monday afternoon.

Please note:

  • While some consumers will start receiving water almost immediately others may not start receiving water until Monday morning as it will take time for the scheme to fill up.
  • We are also expecting issues with air in the pipelines and an increase in water leaks over the coming days as the scheme fills up.
  • We expect the scheme to be under significant pressure for at least the next week if not considerably longer as consumers’ tanks fill up again. It is important to please continue to conserve water as much as possible
  • Do not tamper with your tank connection or restrictor, this will just prevent your neighbours from getting their share of water until the scheme recovers

Once again thank you for your patience and cooperation over the last week. 

Otama Water Scheme Pipeline Repairs Update

Thursday 8 Feburary

It is pleasing to report that good progress has been made on site with the emergency repairs. One of the anchor systems has been installed and, all going well, the other anchor will be installed this evening. The pipe has been welded together as we prepare to pull it across the river tomorrow.

At this stage the plan is to have the pipe reconnected and pumps turned on late tomorrow evening.

Please note: We expect it will take at least two days for the scheme to fill up and potentially over a week for all consumers' on site tanks to fill up. Therefore, it is important to continue to conserve water once the water starts flowing again. It is also quite possible there will be issues with getting air out of the system as it refills, which could cause supply issues. Council staff will be closely monitoring the situation over the weekend.

Water Tanker Deliveries

For those requiring water tank deliveries, it is up to each person to pay for the cost of carting the water. The Council will be waving our charge to take water from the urban supply.

Please contact the following companies if you require water delivered:

  • Cleanways 2003 Ltd Rapid Water – 027 432 8873
  • Caldwell Contracting – 03 206 6465

Once again your patience and cooperation as we get this repair completed is much appreciated. 

Otama Rural Water Supply Scheme Update

Wednesday 7 February

First, we want to say thanks to everyone for the way the community has banded together to offer support. We appreciate things are becoming increasingly stressful as each day without water goes by. Please keep in touch with your neighbours or contact the Rural Support Trust, phone 0800 787 254, if need be.

Our 3 Waters team has been focusing its efforts on getting a temporary pipeline in place. The plan is to suspend the pipe across the river by wire rope.  We will use the remains of the bridge to support it.

Creating the temporary pipeline is high risk and complicated work. Therefore it is vital everything is completed safely and correctly.

Preparatory work was started within hours of the Pyramid Bridge collapsing, and tomorrow morning work will commence on site. This will involve driving an anchor system into the ground and getting the pipe ready to be dragged across the remains of the bridge.

At this stage, we expect to connect the pipe either late on Friday afternoon or early Saturday morning.  

It will take a couple of days for the reservoirs to recover so scheme users should continue to conserve water over the weekend.

We are allowing commercial water carriers to access water from a hydrant in Bury Street, Gore, for emergency supplies.

If you require water to be trucked in please contact one of the following registered drinking water carriers:

  • Cleanways 2003 Ltd Rapid Water - 027 432 8873
  • Caldwell Contracting – 03 206 6465

If anyone has concerns, please ring our 3 Waters Manager Matt Bayliss, phone 209 0330 or 027 405 8411.

Please check our website and our Facebook page for updates.

Pyramid Bridge Collapse/Otama Scheme Repair

Monday 5 February

Gore District Council staff and contractors have today started work on restoring the water pipeline destroyed on Friday when a large section of the Pyramid Bridge broke away.

Chief executive Stephen Parry said preparatory work had started at the site to restore the connection from the Otama rural water supply scheme pumping station, on the west side of the Mataura River, with the reservoir, on the east side.

The plan was to suspend a pipe across the river by wire rope, using the remains of the bridge to support it.

“Structural engineers have inspected the remaining section of the bridge and are confident it will support the temporary structure.”

At this stage, the plan was to have water restored by the end of this week, Mr Parry said.

Otama scheme users will need to continue to conserve water. A tanker is in place at the Otama hall for people wanting drinking water.

There have not been any requests to date for tankers to supply household or stock water. The Council will allow approved contractors to supply water to scheme users, for essential use, from the Gore water supply. It will be sourced from a hydrant in Bury Street.

Mr Parry said last week’s rainfall had lifted the water level in Gore’s reservoir while demand was down due to the cooler weather.

“This is an emergency situation. We have the capacity to supply water from Gore therefore it makes sense and is more cost effective to allow water tankers to fill up in the town instead of Invercargill.”

There are 253 connections on the scheme. Average daily use is about 700,000 litres although at this time of year it increases to about 1.1million litres a day. 

The 50m section of the bridge that broke off on Friday is now clearly visible about 60m downstream. The Council is looking at removing it later this week.

The section broke away after a build-up of debris, caused by the high water flow following last week’s rainfall. No one was hurt. A contractor had been on the bridge clearing the jammed logs but moved off after noticing it was shaking.

The barriers erected at the bridge on Friday will remain in place and the Council will review the need for on-site security, which has been in place over the weekend.

“There has been a lot of public interest over the weekend so from a safety point of view we needed to make sure no-one tried to get a closer look,” Mr Parry said.

With work starting on putting a temporary pipeline in place, the Council urges the public to stay away from the site.

There is a detour in place via Pyramid-Waiparu Road, Waipounamu Bridge Rd and the Riversdale-Waikaia Road.

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