Source: Far North District Council
Sprinkler bans are this week being applied to Kerikeri and Kaitaia, while existing water restrictions are being tightened in Kaikohe.
The Far North District Council is applying the restrictions due to a combination of high levels of water consumption recorded across the district’s eight water schemes, and NIWA predictions that dry weather will continue well into February.
From Tuesday, Level 2 restrictions have been applied to properties connected to Council water supplies in Kerikeri and Kaitaia. The restrictions mean it will be illegal to use automatic or unattended garden hoses, sprinklers and irrigation devices.
On the same day, Level 2 restrictions already in place for Kaikohe were increased to Level 3. This means people with homes and businesses connected to Council water supplies can only use a bucket to water gardens, and to wash buildings, cars or boats. Filling private swimming pools from Council water supplies is completely banned.
General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management, Andy Finch, says that despite showers over the past few days bringing some relief to parts of the Far North, the need to conserve water remains urgent across the whole district.
“Our Kerikeri and Kaitaia water treatment plants are working at maximum capacity to keep up with demand and recent rain has had little impact on consumption. We are asking all residents to take steps to reduce consumption now.”
He says the situation in Kaikohe is particularly serious. “The recent rain will have no immediate impact on the Monument Hill water bore, which is dangerously low, and will not substantially increase flow rates in our primary water source, the Wairoro Stream.”
Mr Finch is also extending his water conservation plea to residents and businesses with rain water tanks. “Most bulk water carriers source water from Council supplies to refill empty tanks and this has a significant impact on overall demand. I am asking those who are buying in water to not use it to fill swimming pools or for irrigation.”
He warns that if there is no reduction in demand, the Council will be forced to prevent bulk water carriers from sourcing water from the Kaitaia, Kaikohe and Kerikeri water treatment plants.
He is urging all Far North residents and businesses to adopt simple conservation measures to help avoid tighter restrictions being applied in the future. These include:
- Only washing clothes when you have a full load. A full washing machine uses about 150 litres of water in just one wash
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving
- Put the plug in the sink when washing vegetables and avoid running the tap
- Mulch your garden with grass clippings or compost. Mulching can prevent up to 70% of water loss through evaporation.
Go to bewaterwise.org.nz to find more water conservation tips. Residents concerned about restriction breaches or water leaks should contact the Council on 0800 920 029.