Urgent water saving measures for Kaikohe

Published on 17 January 2020

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The Council is asking all Kaikohe residents and businesses to reduce their water use by 25 per cent. This reduction is required to protect the town’s two water sources, Wairoro Stream and Monument Hill, which have reached very low levels.

Level 3 water restrictions are currently in place for Kaikohe, meaning residents and businesses on the Council water supply cannot use hoses, sprinklers or irrigation systems. General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management, Andy Finch says that Level 4 restrictions (essential water use for cooking and hygiene only) are being considered.

“We want to avoid imposing Level 4 restrictions on the community. But the Wairoro Stream and the Monument Hill bore are at extremely low levels and forecasters are unable to give us any good news about future rainfall. The truth is, we’d need several weeks of sustained rain to replenish what the last 12 months have taken out of our streams and groundwater.”

The Council is in direct contact with major water users in the Kaikohe area to find ways to reduce water consumption and wastage, but every person can make an impact, not just our major water users.

“This is an opportunity for the community to make a difference. If demand for water in Kaikohe is reduced by 25 per cent over the next two weeks, our treatment plants and water sources stand a fighting chance of maintaining supply for all users.

“The Council wants to help Kaikohe achieve a 25 per cent reduction. To do this, we are offering to fix leaks at no cost. If you find a leak on your property, we will get you a plumber to diagnose and fix the problem.”

To take advantage of the offer, Kaikohe residents should report any water leak to the Council at 0800 920 029, or visit the FNDC website and lodge a Request For Service. For quick ways to find leaks on your property, go the Check for a leak page on the Watercare  website. The Council is offering to cover costs of up to $300 per Kaikohe residence to diagnose and fix water leaks. This will reduce your water bill and help protect our natural resources.

Go to the Be Waterwise (Whakanuia to whakaaro ki te wai) website for more information about water restrictions in Northland and tips on saving water.  Phone 0800 920 029 to tell the Council about water leaks or breaches to water restrictions.

The Council can grant exemptions to water restrictions in exceptional circumstances. Go to the Water supply page on the FNDC website for more details and to apply for an exemption.

 Background

A dry summer season, following a very dry 2019 (the third driest year for the Far North on record), has starved the Wairoro Stream, which is the primary water supply for Kaikohe. Low flow levels also mean the main water treatment plant is forced to work longer hours in every day to meet demand from water users. The resulting high hours of treatment operation (sometimes 23.5 hours in a 24-hour period) put the treatment plant at risk of mechanical failure and make regular maintenance more difficult.

The Monument Hill aquifer, which also supplies Kaikohe, has not recharged to normal levels over winter, further reducing the amount of overall water available.

Kaikohe residents can call our leak reporting line on 0800 920 029 or go to www.fndc.govt.nz

 

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