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Drinking water supply solid for the region

7 Apr 2020

Drinking water supply solid for the region

Gisborne residents can be reassured their drinking water supply is safe and will continue throughout the four-week nationwide lockdown.

Council team leader for drinking water Judith Robertson says the treating and supply of water is extremely high priority.

“Of course this is an essential service and people do not need to be concerned about the safety of the Gisborne water supply. Water supplies are not reported as a transmission route for the COVID-19 illness.”
Council's water treatment plant operators and staff have protocols in place to isolate and stay well.

“We are fully stocked with the water treatment chemicals needed and our treatment plants are operating as normal. The water supplied is safe and meets the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards,” Ms Robertson says.
All goods and service suppliers in Gisborne and other cities have confirmed their ability to continue supply for the weeks and months ahead. Each company is now working to their business continuity plans and have assured Council of their continued support to ensure water treatment and supply is not interrupted.
Fulton Hogan is Council's contractor for fixing pipe breaks, water leaks and other issues on the water supply network.

“These types of things can happen from time-to-time and their teams are working through the New Zealand shutdown.”

Strict hygiene protocols are followed for contractors working on the water supply pipes and at the facilities. Ms Robertson is encouraging people to continue to notify Council of any leaks and issues using the Council’s Request for Service process or via the GDC Fix app, the Council’s customer service email – service@gdc.govt.nz – or 0800 653 800. Non-urgent work will be delayed and customers will be informed about this on an issue-by-issue basis.
The city’s daily water demand remains stable with no high demand peaks. Water storage dam levels are being replenished by some rainfall in the dams’ catchment, but dams are dropping slowly, which is normal for this time of year. The dam water storage levels are within expectation for this time of the year.

“As always, water conservation is important and people are asked to not be wasteful with water at home and at work. Being careful with outdoor water usage is still important to control daily water demand.”

Gisborne has three dams – the HC Williams Dam which was constructed in 1974 and has a useable capacity of 1,833,491 cubic metres; the Clapcott Dam which was constructed in 1948 and has a useable capacity of 896,500 cubic metres and the Sang Dam which was constructed in 1972 and has a useable capacity of 347,568 cubic metres but is currently empty with the water having been released into the Clapcott Dam catchment.

Water is also drawn from the bush intake at the headwaters of the Waingake River, which is commonly known as Te Arai River. The river supplements the dam water supply. Catchments for both the dams and river supplies are rain fed. One cubic metre of water is equivalent to 1000-litres.