Friday, January 19, 2024



Brightwater and Wakefield water use can resume 

19 January, 2024


Tasman District Council is pleased to report that owing to the combined efforts by staff, contractors and the community overnight, measures requiring large-scale water restrictions among Wakefield and Brightwater residents can now be lifted.  

Due to a significantly increased demand being placed on the Brightwater water supply in providing for the Wakefield supply, our pump systems had been working at over-capacity and had subsequently overheated, leaving two of the three pumps in action severely compromised. 

This required immediate action and as a result, residents on urban reticulated water supplies in both areas were asked to restrict any water use to essential use only. 

Over the course of our investigations, an issue with the pump drives, as opposed to the motor was found to be the fault and we will be able to source these very shortly. 

Actions taken by staff and contractors through the night have resolved the immediate issues and availability of water has been restored.  

Both the Wakefield and Brightwater supplies are now moving to Phase B water restrictions (See below) with immediate effect joining Richmond, Hope and Māpua. 

“At this stage the combined pumps in operation is enough to keep us going for now, provided people keep conserving water in accordance with the reduced level of restrictions.” 

Waters and Wastes Manager Mike Schruer said that the overall situation had emerged from two reasons, beginning initially with the discovery of discolouration in the Wakefield well which had led to the closure of the Water Treatment Plant while investigations were undertaken. 

A comprehensive testing regime has occurred in the last week, looking for 150 possible contaminants. Results had been filtering through in recent days and were concluded yesterday, all of which had confirmed water was safe to drink and it appears to be only a discolouration issue which has been addressed..  

By around 6.30pm on Thursday we were able to flush and refill the tanks at the Wakefield WTP and bring the plant back to full operation. 

Tasman Chief Executive Janine Dowding said she was immensely grateful to the quick efforts of Council and its contractors in pulling out all the stops to address the situation. 

“Coupled with the community’s cooperation, we saw an instant reduction in water use, which allowed the reservoir to maintain levels and provide a buffer for any emergencies.” 

“We can’t emphasise enough the value of community  support  at times like this – Those actions make a huge difference..” 

“While this was an extraordinary set of circumstances that was ultimately beyond the control of Council,  as with any situation of this magnitude we will take some lessons and consider whether we can (COMPLETE) additional steps to  increase resilience.” 

“The planned water infrastructure upgrades over the next 3-5 years – proposed in the draft 2024-34  Long Term Plan  – will bring security of supply to the  Brightwater, Wakefield and 88 Valley area subject to funding.”    

“Social media has been running hot with speculation about causes and options. 

“We realise that the public will have a number of possible theories around why this has occurred. While we have provided the facts, we encourage any one who has further questions to contact the Council for further clarification.”   

As a recap for those subject to Phase B restrictions; 

• You can't water the lawn, fill or top up a pool, spa or water feature, or use water for play. 

• You can still do outdoor washing (cars, windows, outdoor areas) with a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, water blaster or bucket. 

• Flowers/trees/planters can be watered every second day only with a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering systems on a timer or a bucket. 

• Veggie gardens and fruit trees can be watered with a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering systems on a timer, or a bucket.

Tasman District Council, Communications.

Pigeon Post News

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