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Water update: No further need for savings

Published: 3 April 2017

Aucklanders no longer need to save water, with Watercare announcing they are now confident they can fulfil demand. 

Off-the-charts rainfall in early March caused massive slips in the Hunua Ranges, filling the city’s water supply dams with silt.

This silt significantly reduced the volume of water that Watercare was able to treat at its Ardmore Water Treatment Plant.

Capacity at Ardmore increased

Watercare spokesperson Mark Bourne says the company had been gradually increasing the capacity of its Ardmore plant over the past couple of weeks.

“Our team was working around the clock to run the plant manually in order to stabilise production," says Mr Bourne. "They were also running our four other metropolitan plants at full-steam.

“Since 15 March, we have been slowly increasing the capacity of our Ardmore plant to 230 million litres per day.

"At the same time, we have been adjusting production at our other plants to sustainable levels.

“This means the five plants that serve people from Pukekohe to Waiwera can now reliably produce 500 million litres of water a day. We are confident that this is enough to meet Auckland’s normal water demand for this time of year.

Infrastructure to be assessed 

Mr Bourne says Auckland has very resilient water infrastructure but the volume of rain that fell in a short period on 7-8 March was unprecedented.

"Two months’ rainfall in 12 hours would test the best infrastructure in the world," he says.

“We can assure Aucklanders that we will be reviewing how we responded to this event and identifying what we can learn from it. Our company is committed to upgrading its assets to ensure our customers receive safe and reliable services."

Council facilities to slowly resume using water

Over the next few days Auckland Council will work through switching water features, irrigation systems, outdoor taps and showers, and other water systems back on.

This may take a little time as maintenance checks need to be carried out at the same time to ensure that the systems haven’t been compromised while switched off.

We thank Aucklanders for their support while we were conserving water and again this week as we return all of our water systems to normal.

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