Tightened water restrictions in Timaru in an attempt to address water discoloration issue

Level 3 water restrictions are now in place for the water supply to the town of Timaru, meaning that a single hose, hand-held or with a micro-jet system can be used for up to one hour per day between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

STACY SQUIRES / Tricks

Level 3 water restrictions are now in place for the water supply to the town of Timaru, meaning that a single hose, hand-held or with a micro-jet system can be used for up to one hour per day between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Level 3 water restrictions are now in place for the water supply to the town of Timaru as the council continues to work to address the town’s water discoloration issues.

The Timaru District Council Council said on Friday morning that it was exploring a range of engineering solutions to address the discoloration problem, with the start of river engineering works, on the Ōpihi River to “ increase the level of natural filtration by the river bed, before the water reaches the intake, which should reduce the amount of algae entering the system. ”

It is also working on upgrading its reservoir site at Gleniti to allow water supply to its other networks by cisterns and reduce the withdrawals required from the Ōpihi.

The board said The Timaru Herald On Wednesday, water from the Ōpihi was the “current cause of the harmless discoloration” which began about a week before Christmas.

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The council had received 448 water quality complaints since December 17, 2021 – of which 391 were filed in the 11 days leading up to December 26, and there had been 57 since then until midnight Wednesday.

Water users at Timaru’s urban supply began to notice discolored water coming from their taps around December 16. Testing by the council indicated that it was caused by algae that was harmless and drinkable as it met the standards for water consumption.

A test filtration plant for the passage of water before treatment will also be installed next week, along with a range of other options such as using the new Pareora pipeline, the council said on Friday.

Timaru District Council Drainage and Water Director Grant Hall said while this work was in progress “we really need the support of the community to reduce the amount of water used”.

“That’s why from today [Friday] Timaru Town’s water supply will drop to Level 3 water restrictions and a residential sprinkler ban. This will help support our efforts to resolve the fading issue, while also ensuring that we have enough supply to last through the summer.

“The city of Timaru currently uses 21 million liters of water per day, we can only take 17 million liters of water per day in Pareora, and therefore we must minimize the amount that we have to supplement with the pihi in reducing water demand. “

There is also a watering ban in place for every inhabitant of Timaru, he said.

“A single hand hose or micro-jet system can be used for an hour between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. and no lawn watering is allowed. “

People were also urged to take shorter showers, check for leaks around their property, only run the washing machine and dishwasher when they are full, and not to water or clean them. objects with a pipe.

Using a range of methods to remove as little pihi as possible in the short term will help solve the discoloration problem, as the water from the Pareora River and other supplies does not experience the same growth of pihi. algae, Hall said.

“All of our water safety tests to date and those of independent testing laboratories show that the water is potable, and we continue to take additional water samples until this situation is resolved.” , did he declare.

“We are working hard on a lot of options to remedy the situation at the source, the fastest thing that will solve the problem is for people to reduce unnecessary water consumption, mainly by reducing the use at the outside.

“This will not only help in the short term, but will also help support the effectiveness of any temporary measures we are putting in place. “

He said most of the council staff lived in Timaru, “so we both share the problem the community is facing and understand the concerns about how long it takes to resolve.”

“We take this very seriously and hope the community can do their part to help. “

South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Smith said the ongoing problem was a serious concern to all residents, as well as the commercial and food processing industries.

“We all appreciate the work undertaken by the Timaru District Council, but we believe that issues like this amplify the need for a reliable and sustainable alternative water supply,” Smith said.

“The House has advocated the need to ensure an alternative water supply from the Waitaki for the past 18 months. “

Micheal Tough, of Timaru, fills water containers in Caroline Bay on Wednesday.  He said the water was not pleasant and his children did not want to drink the water.

Yashas Srinivasa / Tips

Micheal Tough, of Timaru, fills water containers in Caroline Bay on Wednesday. He said the water was not pleasant and his children did not want to drink the water.

Tanker locations

Tankers for those wanting an alternative source of drinking water are available at Domain Ave (outside the Botanical Gardens), Caroline Bay, and Aorangi Park.

Level 3 water restrictions

– A single hose, hand-held or with a micro-jet system can be used for a maximum of one hour per day between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

– No watering of lawns is allowed

– Commercial users are urged to minimize use.

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