8 December 2017

Pump failure forces urgent action


Thursday 7 December 2017

The Gore District Council will lift the ban on handheld hosing at 7.00am tomorrow (Friday 8 December) after a replacement pump was installed at Gore’s main water source Cooper’s Wells.

However, the reservoir needs to recharge, and with continued hot weather and very little rainfall forecast over the next few days, Gore has moved to level three water restrictions.

This means handheld hosing is allowed between 7.00pm and 9.00pm on alternative days but there is a ban on unattended watering systems, such as sprinklers and hoses.

3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss said he appreciated peoples’ frustration at not being able to water their lawns but it was important to converse water to get through what is being predicated to be a long, hot summer.

Environment Southland this week issued a statement saying Southland hasn’t experienced a dry period like this since 1990. With one month left in the year, Southland may experience its lowest yearly rainfall since Environment Southland’s monitoring began in the mid-1970s.

The pumps at Cooper’s Well are regularly serviced and had the pump failed in winter time there would have been little impact on residents. However, the low level of the wells and increased water use in Gore due to the hot weather exacerbated the situation, Mr Bayliss said.

The new pump had been purchased about 12 months as back up.

The dry spring has seen the Mataura River 46% lower for this time of year than the five yearly average. The wells are 35% lower than usual for this time of year.

Main points

  • Total ban on hosing will be lifted at 7.00am tomorrow
  • Level 3 restrictions in place tomorrow for Gore
  • The Council regularly maintains and services the well pumps
  • There was a new pump in storage for such an event as yesterday's failure
  • The Mataura River is 46% lower for this time of year than the five yearly average
  • The wells are 35% lower than usual for this time of year


Wednesday 6 December 2017

The Gore District Council has imposed a ban on all unattended hoses, sprinklers, garden irrigation systems and handheld hoses, effectively immediately, after a pump failure today at the town’s main water source.

The ban also applies to car washing by handheld hose.

3 Waters Asset Manager Matt Bayliss said the failure means the Council can only pump approximately 40 percent of Gore’s current daily water requirements from Cooper’s Wells.

The continued hot weather has pushed the town’s daily water consumption to 4500 cubic metres.

“We have enough water stored in the tanks for two days.

“However, at this stage it looks as though it will take two days to fix the pump so we need to people to conserve water immediately.”

The ban applies only to the Gore water supply.

The Council has turned off its sprinkler systems for Gore’s reserves and public gardens in Gore until the issue has been resolved, while 3 Waters staff were out today talking with business owners, urging them to save water wherever possible.

Mr Bayliss said the ban should be for only a couple of days. There will be an update at 4.00pm tomorrow (Thursday 7 December) on the Council’s website, Facebook page and local radio. 

The lower reservoir levels mean some residents may experience discoloured water. If this happens, residents should run their taps until the water becomes clear. If the issue does not go away after 15 – 20 minutes, please call the Council.

Mr Bayliss asked people to pass on this important message to friends and neighbours, and advise the Council on 2090330 if they see people using watering systems.

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