Water supply upgrade needed

Pressure on ... Weston Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer Bevan Koppert hopes an...
Pressure on ... Weston Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer Bevan Koppert hopes an application from the Waitaki District Council for government funding to upgrade Weston's water supply infrastructure is approved, so it can deliver more reliable water pressure for fighting fires. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
There may be ‘‘big trouble'' if a project to boost water pressure in North Otago is not given priority, Weston Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer Bevan Koppert says.

He welcomed news the Waitaki District Council had included a planned upgrade to the township's water supply infrastructure, which would improve water flow and increase pipe capacity.

It was oneof five projects earmarked for consideration for Crown Infrastructure Fund investment.

Mr Koppert said the upgrade was needed sooner rather than later.

‘‘Some of the area is not bad, but the mains pressure in the hydrants is actually considerably lower to what Oamaru is. Even some of them you'd be lucky to get water out of,'' he said.

‘‘If you have a fire and it's a house, two houses, and you can't get enough water, you are in trouble. Big trouble.

‘‘That's why we run water tankers ... If you're running two deliveries, you may not get enough water pressure into the pump to operate.''

He said he was ‘‘in favour'' of the project, which also included other areas in North Otago, going ahead if it meant firefighters were not ‘‘always working on edge''.

Weston's water supply infrastructure was last upgraded in late 2010 and early 2011 as part of a $1.2million investment to improve drinking water quality.

Water is pumped to Weston from the Oamaru supply through a 5.5km-long pipeline.

daniel.birchfield@odt.co.nz

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