Water missing from Mataura, restricted further in Clutha

Clutha district authorities are raising the level of water restrictions as the hot weather continues, while in Mataura the local council is at a loss as to where all the water is going.

Clutha District Council service delivery group manager Jules Witt said the spell of hot weather and increased use of water meant it had to tighten use of most supplies.

``There has been more pressure on water schemes and we'd like to remind everyone that restrictions are in place and need to be followed.''

Yesterday, the Balclutha, Clinton, Clydevale-Pomahaka, Glenkenich, Kaitangata-Waihola, North Bruce (includes Waihola and Tokoiti), Kaka Point, Lawrence, Milton, Moa Flat, Owaka, Richardson North, Richardson South, South Bruce, Stirling and Tapanui supplies were on stage 2 restrictions (hand-held hose watering between 8pm and 8am only, sprinkler and irrigation ban, systems not to be left unattended or on overnight).

The Balmoral 1 and 2 and Tuapeka East and West supplies were on stage 3 restrictions (a hosing ban apart from one day a week between 8pm and 8am, sprinkler and irrigation ban, systems not to be left unattended or on overnight, avoid washing cars or boats and the like).

``Please help spread the word by telling your neighbours, friends and family about the restrictions,'' Mr Witt said.

In Gore, the Gore District Council's water team was still trying to work out where all of Mataura's water is going.

It has not found the cause of a major loss of water from Mataura's network, despite a thorough survey of the town yesterday.

Staff will today bring in a company experienced in detecting leaks to help with the search.

All monitoring equipment showed there was enough water going into the treatment plant from the Pleura Dam, a spokeswoman said.

The council was investigating all possibilities for the cause of the loss, including a significant leak or extraordinary consumption, given the unprecedented hot weather, she said.

Commercial water tankers were instructed yesterday not to take water from the Mataura supply, even though any consented activity had no impact on reservoir levels before the weekend.

Level 4 water restrictions remained in place for the town, meaning a total ban on unattended hoses, sprinklers, garden irrigation systems and handheld hoses. Car washing by handheld hose was prohibited.

The council had also reduced the water pressure to reduce water consumption, though all residents should continue to receive water.

The reservoir had dropped to 50% by yesterday afternoon.


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