Change to water alert level for some Waikato residents

05 February 2020

Hamilton City moving to Water Alert Level 3 tomorrow has an impact on some southern Waikato district residents.

Residents in Tauwhare, Gordonton, Matangi, Tamahere, Newstead/Eureka, Wallace Rd and Stonebridge Estate are being asked to stop all outside sprinkling as they are supplied by Hamilton’s water network. All other parts of the Waikato district remain off water alerts.

Hamilton City Council will move to Water Alert Level 3 from Thursday 6 February, in response to record water-use in past weeks.

The change means garden sprinklers cannot be used, in either residential or commercial properties, and hand-held hosing only is permitted.

It’s the first time in seven years the city has had to implement the restrictions, and Maire Porter, City Waters Manager, says the Council has been forced to react.

“We’ve seen a 30% increase in outside water use compared to the same period last year and our water treatment plant yesterday supplied the second-highest daily amount ever to Hamilton,” Ms Porter says.

“There has been a sustained level of very high usage, over the past two weeks, which has meant our plant has been operating constantly close to its maximum sustainable production levels. Our average daily usage in the city is around 55 million litres a day – lately we’ve been pumping 80-85 million litres of quality, treated water every day.

“We know around half of this is being used for lawns, gardens, pools and for washing vehicles and boats. We need to make sure we can continue to supply water for homes and so we need people to reduce their outside water use.”

Ms Porter says a key part of the decision to move to Alert Level 3 is ensuring supply can be maintained during routine maintenance, in the event of a breakdown or for firefighting purposes in an increasingly-dry region.

Cr Angela O’Leary, Chair of the city’s Infrastructure Operations Committee, says “Council staff have held off changing to Alert Level 3 until now, while many other areas of the country have been implementing or increasing their restrictions, including total bans on outdoor water use in some places.

“Water is a precious resource and as a community we need to keep working towards being smarter and more sustainable about how we use it.

“The Council teams will be monitoring the situation closely in coming days and weeks and I’d like to thank those Hamiltonians who are making the effort to conserve water in what is one of the driest and hottest spells our city has seen,” Cr O’Leary says.

Hamilton City Council is reducing or eliminating water usage for many of its operations and developing action plans across the organisation to conserve water.

More information about the water restrictions can be found here.

ENDS

For more information, contact:
Lauradanna Radesic | Hamilton City Council | 027 808 8125
Teresa Hancock |Waikato District Council |027 706 5776
Karen Cousins| Waipā District Council | 027 300 5232

About the water alert level system:

The Water Alert Levels and their corresponding requirements are a way to use water in a sustainable manner and ensure consistent supply throughout summer. The water alert level system consists of four alert levels and matching requirements.

Water Alert Level 1
Use sprinkler systems between 6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm
Hand-held hosing can be used anytime

Water Alert Level 2
Use sprinkler systems on alternate days between
6am – 8am and 6pm – 8pm
Hand-held hosing can be used anytime

Water Alert Level 3
No use of sprinklers.
Hand-held hosing only

Water Alert Level 4
No use of outside water systems