30 Dec 2015

North Canterbury town runs out of water

1:17 pm on 30 December 2015

Water has been restored to homes in Hanmer Springs, after the North Canterbury town's reservoir ran dry because it could not meet demand.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The Hurunui District Council said the town ran dry because the reservoir could not meet demand after maintenance was carried out yesterday morning.

Last night it asked people in the area to keep their taps turned off overnight to allow the reservoir to refill.

District mayor Winton Dalley said water pressure was now back to normal this morning.

He told Summer Report the intake was turned off for a while to clear plastic bags and other debris, and there was more demand during the rest of the day than there was water coming in.

"During that cleaning, of course, the pumps were off and the reservoirs simply didn't keep up with the heat of the day, with the huge demand. Once the debris was cleared, the pumps were working and overnight the reservoir was filled."

Mr Dalley said soaring temperatures caused the rise in demand and he was urging residents to still be mindful of their water use.

A tourism operator in Hanmer Springs said running out of water in the midst of peak holiday season was concerning for businesses in the town.

Hanmer Springs Business Association chair Christian Chester told RNZ it was probably a one-off, but he hoped it did not happen again

"The infrastructure needs to keep up with demand. If there is big demand in Hanmer, like when the town is full, obviously we need to provide services for our guests and it's probably not the best look if we are running out of water."