Water restrictions have been increased from Level 2 to Level 3 for Akaroa, Duvauchelle and Takamatua on Banks Peninsula as increasingly hot and windy conditions put pressure on water supplies.
Level 3 restrictions means hand-held hosing only on alternate days, with no outdoor water use on any day between 3pm and 9pm. Unattended hoses, sprinklers, and garden irrigation systems are not permitted at any time.
“We have some very hot weather forecast for the next couple of days and this will really put pressure on the local streams that supply drinking water to Akaroa, Duvauchelle and Takamatua,” says the Christchurch City Council’s Head of Three Waters and Waste, Helen Beaumont.
“In hot weather and strong winds we can see those streams losing a litre of water per second from their already low flow rates. When they’re only flowing at several litres per second, that loss makes a huge difference to the amount of water we can safely take from them.”
Akaroa’s cumulative rainfall this year is the lowest it has been in a decade, putting extra pressure on the town’s water supply which it shares with Takamatua. Its current total rainfall for the year sits at about half the 10-year average.
“Currently we’re mostly using our backup water bores and topping up the supply from the streams,” says Ms Beaumont.
“But in order to ensure a fair and uninterrupted water supply to people living, working and visiting in the areas, we need to further reduce the demand by moving to Level 3 water restrictions.”
Residents at odd-numbered addresses can water lawns or gardens before 3pm or after 9pm on odd dates (1st, 3rd, 15th, etc), while residents at an even-numbered addresses can water before 3pm or after 9pm on even dates.
Signs have been set up at the entrances to Akaroa and Duvauchelle to advise residents and visitors about the restrictions.
The Council is reminding residents in Halswell, Wigram, Hornby, Sockburn and Templeton to closely observe the city’s water restrictions this summer while work is done at the local Denton Pump Station.
Christchurch is currently at Level 1 water restrictions, meaning the use of hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems is permitted only on alternate days. No water can be used outdoors on any day between 3pm and 9pm.
The Council identified an issue with the suction tank at Denton Pump Station over the Christmas period and needed to shut it down. Other pump stations in the area are compensating to supply water to the affected area.
“If you live in one of the affected suburbs, please make sure you closely observe the current water restrictions in place for Christchurch. We have a reduced pumping capacity in the area and need to keep the local water demand at a manageable level, especially as the weather heats up. If everyone follows the rules, then we can achieve that.
“Residents can still water their lawns or gardens however they wish on alternate days, before 3pm or after 9pm.”
Ms Beaumont says there are no health concerns and the local water supply is still clean and safe to drink.