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An application for an out-of-zone connection to Dunedin's water supply has been successful.
The application from a Momona couple seeking potable water was considered at the same meeting as an application from a Strath-Taieri farmer seeking a back-up water supply for his stock.
Before making its decisions, the Dunedin City Council's infrastructure services committee was reminded that council policy was not to allow connections to water infrastructure outside designated supply zones to stop urban sprawl and extra costs.
But the committee was told council staff recommended the Momona application be approved because of extenuating circumstances involving a tree.
Paul and Amelia Rogers, of Momona, said they were unable to collect an adequate supply of clean water from their roof collection system because of large amounts of organic matter entering the tank water from mature trees close to the house, water department staff said.
The couple wanted to connect to the supply pipeline from the Outram reservoir supply.
Tests had shown the couple's roof tank water was not a health risk, but its discolouration and taste made it unsuitable for use as potable water.
They had installed a filter without success and did not wish to remove the trees because of their aesthetic and environmental values, as well as cost.
Staff agreed the trees, particularly a walnut tree which was worthy of protection on a district and national scale, were of aesthetic value and the pruning that would be required would be detrimental to them.
The only other option was to use a tanker to bring water to the property, which would be expensive.
The application was granted, but because of demand on the supply, it was on the condition the service was metered and a $5000 25,000-litre capacity tank was provided by the applicants to store water to prevent peak demands on the network.
However, Clarks Junction farmer John Macdonald's application to connect to the Deep Creek supply line to take back-up water stores for his stock was left on the table while legal issues were clarified.