Crisis averted: pipe leak fixed

Water restrictions remain.

Water restrictions remain.

HARD AT WORK: Staff worked through the night to repair the water pipeline leak at Makaraka. Pictures by Liam Clayton

A city water crisis has been averted with the repair of a major water leak this morning.

Gisborne District Council yesterday found the leak in the main water supply pipeline along the main road at Makaraka.

The city remains at Level 5 water restrictions — the highest level —which means a total ban on outdoor water use.

This was expected to be lifted at around 3pm today.

A council spokeswoman told The Herald this morning that contractors worked through the night to fix the repair, with a small patch being welded in place this morning.

“Supply from the Waingake treatment plant will return to normal by 3pm this afternoon but it will take several days for the reservoirs to replenish to a level that ensures ongoing supply,” she said.

The council yesterday said the city had only 24 hours of water left.

Usually back-up supplies were enough for a few days but because yesterday was one of the hottest days of the year, the city was at peak demand.

The council reassured residents there were no other seal issues. The pipes had all been checked and water quality tests were done.

“Once the water is flowing again, households may notice the water is white or milky. This is just air trapped in the water.”

The council issued a “thanks to everyone” for their efforts to conserve water, as well as to the staff and contractors who worked all night to fix the issue.

“Dam water levels are over 80 percent full, which is good for this time of the year.”

Mayor Meng Foon told Radio New Zealand this morning he estimated the job would cost “tens of thousands” because of the man hours and machinery involved.

“It’s usually a fuse or a rat gnawing at something and this time it’s a rubber ring that had deteriorated.

“I wouldn’t say it was $5 but in context of the whole job, it’s probably about a $50 ring.”

“Once we get the all-clear we’ll be pumping up at our reservoirs but in the meantime we’re still asking the community to conserve water.”

Pak’nSave owner Ewan Atherton said a truck and trailer unit was arriving from Auckland today to deliver 48 pallets of bottled water for the community as back-up.

“We will not run out of water.”

Mr Atherton said they had been in close contact with the council as the situation unfolded.

“I think the council does a great job communicating when there’s issues and it is very helpful for other providers in the community to step in and provide alternative supplies when needed.

“That’s the way we roll in Gizzy.”

Cedenco general manager Carla McCulloch said they had a water management plan in place after meeting with the council last year.

“As soon as their alert kicked in for the town there was an alert on site as well.

“We stopped all non-necessary use around the factory.”

This included hosing down the factory but no foodlines were shut down.

Water restrictions remained in place at Cedenco this morning.

The augmentation plant was started last night to provide back-up for the city’s water supply but technical issues with the pump meant that could not get flowing either.

However, this morning those had also been fixed and the plant will be running over the weekend.

A city water crisis has been averted with the repair of a major water leak this morning.

Gisborne District Council yesterday found the leak in the main water supply pipeline along the main road at Makaraka.

The city remains at Level 5 water restrictions — the highest level —which means a total ban on outdoor water use.

This was expected to be lifted at around 3pm today.

A council spokeswoman told The Herald this morning that contractors worked through the night to fix the repair, with a small patch being welded in place this morning.

“Supply from the Waingake treatment plant will return to normal by 3pm this afternoon but it will take several days for the reservoirs to replenish to a level that ensures ongoing supply,” she said.

The council yesterday said the city had only 24 hours of water left.

Usually back-up supplies were enough for a few days but because yesterday was one of the hottest days of the year, the city was at peak demand.

The council reassured residents there were no other seal issues. The pipes had all been checked and water quality tests were done.

“Once the water is flowing again, households may notice the water is white or milky. This is just air trapped in the water.”

The council issued a “thanks to everyone” for their efforts to conserve water, as well as to the staff and contractors who worked all night to fix the issue.

“Dam water levels are over 80 percent full, which is good for this time of the year.”

Mayor Meng Foon told Radio New Zealand this morning he estimated the job would cost “tens of thousands” because of the man hours and machinery involved.

“It’s usually a fuse or a rat gnawing at something and this time it’s a rubber ring that had deteriorated.

“I wouldn’t say it was $5 but in context of the whole job, it’s probably about a $50 ring.”

“Once we get the all-clear we’ll be pumping up at our reservoirs but in the meantime we’re still asking the community to conserve water.”

Pak’nSave owner Ewan Atherton said a truck and trailer unit was arriving from Auckland today to deliver 48 pallets of bottled water for the community as back-up.

“We will not run out of water.”

Mr Atherton said they had been in close contact with the council as the situation unfolded.

“I think the council does a great job communicating when there’s issues and it is very helpful for other providers in the community to step in and provide alternative supplies when needed.

“That’s the way we roll in Gizzy.”

Cedenco general manager Carla McCulloch said they had a water management plan in place after meeting with the council last year.

“As soon as their alert kicked in for the town there was an alert on site as well.

“We stopped all non-necessary use around the factory.”

This included hosing down the factory but no foodlines were shut down.

Water restrictions remained in place at Cedenco this morning.

The augmentation plant was started last night to provide back-up for the city’s water supply but technical issues with the pump meant that could not get flowing either.

However, this morning those had also been fixed and the plant will be running over the weekend.

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