The support of Christchurch residents in complying with the outdoor watering restrictions that have been in place in the City and Lyttelton Harbour communities since October 2011, has saved around 18,000,000 litres of water per day (equivalent to 7 Olympic swimming pools/day).
Council City Water and Waste Manager Mark Christison thanked residents for their support of the restrictions. “We would like to thank the community for their understanding shown to-date, but ask people to remember that the real challenge for keeping summer water demand under control will occur over the next 6 - 8 weeks through January and February,” he says.
“If everyone plays their part and subject to no further large aftershocks we should be able to get through the summer on the current level of restrictions (hand held watering on alternate days).”
Mr Christison says that the issue is not about the amount of water in the aquifers below the city, but rather the network’s ability to pull this water up from the aquifers and deliver it around the city to meet the peak demands during the summer season. Mr Christison says these summer peaks are three to four times the size of the average winter demand and this increase is due almost solely to outdoor irrigation use.
“Normally reservoirs help to buffer the heaviest demand days but the city has lost its largest reservoir (32,000 m3 at Huntsbury). To-date we have managed to replace this with a 6,000m3 structure. This means the city has lost key storage at a time when water demand is at its peak. New wells are starting to come on line and this is helping to restore capacity in the water supply system.
“The damage to our water infrastructure is serious and whilst we are making good progress in restoring assets to service we need the continued support of our residents in limiting outdoor water use in line with the Level 3 restrictions.”
Water breaks caused by the December 23 aftershock have been repaired and crews are working on smaller leaks as they are identified across the city. Residents are asked to phone the Customer Call Centre on (03) 941 8999 if they notice wet patches on roadways or footpaths.
The Level 3 water restrictions currently in place mean:
Unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems are not permitted at any time.
No outdoor water use on Mondays.
Even numbered properties (e.g. Street Numbers 2, 4, 6, 8) - hand-held (hand-held hoses, watering cans, etc) watering only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Odd numbered properties (e.g. Street Numbers 3, 5, 7, 9) - hand-held (hand-held hoses, watering cans, etc) watering only on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Car washing is permitted on your allocated days.
“The Council will notify the public when restrictions are removed or if total outdoor watering bans are put in place via public notices, radio and print advertising and on the Council website,” he says.
Water Restrictions – Facts
Level 3 water restrictions have been in place for Christchurch and Lyttelton Harbour communities since 8 October this year.
The restrictions have been imposed under the Water Related Services Bylaw 2008.
The restrictions do not apply to residents and businesses that have private wells on their properties or require water for production such as garden centres and car sale yards.
The network repairs since 22 February include:
- 72 wells repaired and back in service (17 wells are yet to be complete).
- 26 kms of water mains have been replaced.
- Repairs to 13 reservoirs have been completed.
- A new smaller 6000m3 reservoir has been commissioned in the old Huntsbury reservoir (6000m3 capacity). The second unit will start construction in the New Year.
- A new water pump station has been commissioned at the Huntsbury site.
-The new Rawhiti Water Pump station is in its final stages of design.
- 7 new wells have been drilled and are currently being commissioned onto the network over the next month this includes an Environment Canterbury monitoring bore in South Brighton. Another two wells should be available by Autumn 2012.
The total repair bill for damaged water infrastructure is estimated at $146 million.