The unexpected failure of a water main pump at Hawea today has meant an urgent call for water conservation in the area.
Council contractors were alerted to the failure at 1.30am this morning, Queenstown Lakes District Council utilities committee chairman John Mann said.
“This is one of two pumps which ensure the Hawea water supply. The second pump will mean the water supply continues but one pump cannot keep up with the normal demand at this time of year,” Mr Mann said.
Until the failed pump could be removed from Lake Hawea, where it was located under water, inspected and either repaired or replaced then residents would need to restrict their use of water.
“The pump itself is not easy to access but we hope to have it out for inspection by tomorrow,” he said.
It was possible the removal, repair and or replacement of the pump could take up to three weeks.
“With summer gardens underway and warmer weather, the timing could have been better. We don’t want to have to restrict watering altogether but irrigation is definitely not possible,” Mr Mann said.
Residents were asked to limit watering to hand-held hoses, in moderation, between the hours of 5pm and 7am.
“We will be closely monitoring water use. If the demand continues to be too high then we will have to look at more restrictive measures. Unfortunately one thing we cannot do is to allow the supply to go below the prescribed fire fighting level. We have to keep a reserve at all times,” Mr Mann said.