Water demand key to preventing boil water notices in Ohakune
The increased demand for water from holiday visitors combining with bad weather on the horizon is raising the possibility of a potential boil water notice for Ohakune.
Council is urgently asking everyone in the township to reduce their water usage and fix any leaks or drips to help avoid the need for a boil water notice to be issued in coming days.
Manager Infrastructure Services, Stuart Watson, said that the water treatment plant is running at maximum capacity but with the current outflow we are relying on the limited reservoir capacity to meet the holiday demand.
“Night time demand measured between 1-5am is up by a good 10,000 litres an hour and has averaged 38,000 litres an hour over the first three nights of this week.
This is a heck of a lot of water when most all people will be tucked up in bed asleep which highlights the extent of the situation.
Estimates are that Ohakune should only need between 10-15,000 litres per hour for normal domestic and commercial usage and we are regularly seeing flows for over twice this,” he said.
Mr Watson said that keeping up with this level of demand is only possible due to the current fine weather which means that the raw water source from the Tutara (Serpentine) Stream has low turbidity (murkiness).
“Unfortunately, the weather forecast for the weekend and next week is not so good.
With this level of water demand any bad weather increasing the raw water turbidity will mean we will not be able to produce enough water that meets drinking water standards requiring a boil water notice to be issued.
To give us the best chance of avoiding a boil water we need to reduce overall water demand by around 20,000 litres per hour through a reduction in usage along with fixing any drips or leaks.
Council is currently offering to have a plumber fix leaks and drips on the Ohakune network at their cost to the value of $200 per job.
To take advantage of the offer just call Council on 06 385 8364 or drop-by the Ohakune office,” he said.
Mr Watson added that Council would also ask that people report any leaks that they are aware of as the porous volcanic soils around Ohakune mean that the water flows away underground making them very hard to spot.
As well as being inconvenient to everyday life boil water notices have a huge impact on the local economy.
So please, let’s all work together, be waterwise, and do everything we can to reduce water demand,” he said.