Sprinkler use frustrates those saving water

Sprinkler water sprays on the pavement outside the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday morning....
Sprinkler water sprays on the pavement outside the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday morning. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A council-run sprinkler giving the pavement a generous watering has sparked frustration as Mosgiel residents deal with water restrictions.

Yesterday, sprinklers were running outside the Dunedin Railway Station until 10am, spraying water beyond the grass and drenching the walkway.

It comes days after the city council asked residents to save water because of dropping reservoir levels.

The advice included a voluntary ban on sprinkler use for home gardens and lawns.

Mosgiel has been under level 1 water restrictions since January 16, banning people from using sprinklers, washing cars and water blasting except between 8pm and 8am.

The wasted water sparked upset for one Taieri woman, who said she was "disappointed to see the water all over the pavement".

"We are down to the last bit of water in our tanks.

"Some people are having to buy water and yet when I come into town the water is just going down the drain."

A Dunedin City Council spokesman said the Dunedin Railway Station gardens were considered a priority public area along with some key sportsgrounds.

"Our contractors are continuing to water these locations as required, but aim to do between the hours of 8pm to 8am in line with our guidance to residents.

"Existing sprinkler heads used at the Railway Station will also be replaced with a type that are far more water efficient as part of our ongoing water conservation efforts."

The sprinkler running past 8am was a mistake, but the council had reminded the contractor of the guidelines, the spokesman said.

Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chairman Andrew Simms said he could understand Taieri residents being upset by the sight, but it was more complicated than some thought.

The problem with Mosgiel’s water supply was not a lack of water, but an inability to transfer enough water from the city to meet the increased demand.

That meant the need to save water was not the same between Mosgiel and Dunedin city, he said.

There was usually "more than enough" water for standard use, but the warm summer had boosted demand significantly with people watering their lawns and gardens.