Richmond water supply ‘critically low’ due to broken water main

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MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF

The Maitai Dam on the first day of Nelson City Council water restrictions.

Residents in a Nelson town are being urged not to flush the toilet or take showers after a water main broke.

The broken water main in Lower Queen St could cut the water supply for people living in parts of Richmond. Residents are urged not to use water outside the house, not to flush toilets unless necessary, and not to use the washing machine, dishwasher or shower if possible.

Tasman District Council spokesman Chris Choat said everyone in Richmond needed to conserve water but the area from Queen St to Hart Rd, and from Wensley Rd east to the foothills, was the most badly affected. That area was likely to run out of water very shortly.

A water tanker would be sent to Hill St area for those who needed to get fresh water.

Lack of rain and dropping water levels in the Maitai Dam have led to stage one water restrictions in Nelson.

MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF

Lack of rain and dropping water levels in the Maitai Dam have led to stage one water restrictions in Nelson.

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Choat said they were working on the problem but it could take hours to fix, and were diverting water via a backup system.

“Water from other supplies may be chlorinated, so you may notice a taste difference, ” he said.

Rain this week is likely to be light and "inconsequential" as Nelson's dry spell is expected to continue until after ...

MetService

Rain this week is likely to be light and “inconsequential” as Nelson’s dry spell is expected to continue until after Christmas.

The region’s dry spell continues

Meanwhile those in Nelson Tasman hoping for rain for are likely to have to wait until after Christmas.

Water restrictions are in place in Nelson from Monday, owing to an ongoing dry spell and low water levels in the Maitai Dam.

The water restrictions in Nelson don't apply to public areas, including cricket grounds like the Botanics sportsfield, ...

MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF

The water restrictions in Nelson don’t apply to public areas, including cricket grounds like the Botanics sportsfield, which was watered on Monday at lunchtime.

MetService meteorologist Andy Best said there doesn’t look to be much respite from the dry, hot weather this week.

“We are forecasting some occasional evening rain tomorrow, but really it’s going to be inconsequential to be honest, it’s going to be very light,” he said.

“Looking out until Friday, there’s nothing at least until then.”

He said the long term outlook to Christmas Day, based on computer modelling, indicated some wet weather could be on its way next week.

“It looks like there may be rain and northerlies coming on Boxing Day, but the degree of confidence in that forecast is pretty low.”

He said there was also a chance of rain in the late part of Christmas Day.

Nelson Tasman is not the only region experiencing a dry spell, with Whanganui experiencing a record-breaking 40 days without rain, the longest dry spell since its record-keeping began in 1937. Its previous record was 38 days, recorded in March 2013.

Nelson City Council has introduced stage one restrictions which allow odd numbered houses to use sprinklers on odd days only and vice versa for even numbered houses.

The restrictions apply to the use of sprinklers on gardens, lawns and orchards, but do not at this stage apply to areas used extensively by the public, such as bowling greens, golf course greens, cricket pitches and public gardens.

Handheld watering is still permitted but only one hose may be used at a time.

A council statement said with low rainfall and the forecast of a long dry summer, there was a need to impose water restrictions to ensure water supply for essential use.

In Tasman, water restrictions have been tightened across the Waimea Plains, where the ground in some areas is as dry as it usually is at the end of summer.

Irrigators and other permit holders in the Lower Confined and Hope Gravels zones will have consented takes from the Waimea River cut by 20 per cent cut from Monday. In all other areas of the Waimea water management zone apart from the Wai-iti zone, reductions in takes will increase to 35 per cent.

Watering restrictions are in place for urban water users in Richmond, Mapua, Ruby Bay, Brightwater, Wakefield, and Hope, and their rural extensions. 

Only handheld hosing of gardens is permitted for even house numbers on even days, and odd numbers on odd days.


 – Stuff

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