31 Oct 2017

Invercargill explosion injures contractor

10:56 pm on 31 October 2017

A contractor has been injured in an explosion at a water pumping station in Invercargill, and residents are being told to urgently conserve their water.

Waikiwi pump station where the explosion happened.

Waikiwi pump station where the explosion happened. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Invercargill City Council said the explosion happened just after 12pm at the pump station in Myers Street, Waikiwi.

It said one of the two contractors who were working on an electrical switchboard is now being treated in hospital.

The council's water manager, Alister Murray, said the pump was still out of action, resulting in lower water pressure than normal.

"It will mean our storage levels are depleted down to dangerously low levels at our city pump station. It just happens that today is one of the hottest days we have, so we've noticed the demand for water has been increasing.

"That coupled with the fact that we have only got approximately half our pumping capacity has combined to really affect our ability to distribute water."

He said all residents and businesses in Invercargill and Bluff to use as little water as possible, because water levels could get very low if they don't.