Published: 22 Dec 2021
Timaru water Update 21/12
Thanks for everyone’s patience as we deal with this issue. We’ve got a few updates for today, and something that you can start doing now to help with the issue.
Following last week’s storms, the water in the Pareora River has cleaned up enough that we’ve been able to switch the supply back on. This is our best source, and turning it back on will help refill the reservoirs and begin to resolve the discolouration.
But we need your help!
We need your help by reducing non-essential water consumption to give our reservoirs time to refill, so please no watering of lawns, and only use sprinklers when they are most effective between 6-8 am or 6-8pm.
We think the source of the algae was our secondary source at the Opihi, so we’d like to keep this source switched off for the time being. This means we have to rely solely on Pareora to both supply everyone’s needs and refill the reserve, which we can’t do at peak summer water volumes, so we need everyone to do their bit to help get us back to normal.
What else are we doing?
- We’ve had divers in the Claremont Reservoirs today to make sure there was nothing unusual in there, and it all looked okay.
- We’re waiting for the results of specialist testing just to provide absolute surety to our conclusions, we’re expecting these shortly.
- The water continues to meet the drinking water standards and is suitable for consumption.
- The tankers of water from will continue to be at Aorangi Park, Caroline Bay and Sir Basil Arthur Park during the day until further notice. Please bring your own clean container.
- The water doesn’t look good, but it meets the drinking water standards. We’ve been liaising with the Drinking Water Regulator, and they are satisfied with our process.
- We’ve ruled out a number of potential causes including cross-contamination, backflow, rust in pipes and silt from source water. We can confirm that none of these are the cause.
- Having ruled out all of the above, we believe the most likely cause of the discolouration is non-toxic microscopic algae in the raw water which is common in summer, and is killed by our water treatments. This reaction can discolour the water.
- Samples of raw water have been sent to a specialist laboratory to confirm this.
- Last week’s storm has exacerbated the problem by us not being able to take any water from either of our usual sources. This is normal following a wet weather event.
- If you are still concerned and do not wish to drink the water, we will be making free water available from a different town supply.
Last updated: 22 Dec 2021