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In February, six dead animals ended up in the towns' drinking water reservoir, causing major disruption to the water supply and three cases of water-borne diseases. A Christchurch City Council review into the drinking water contamination that affected both Akaroa and Takamātua identified the poor condition of the L'Aube Hill Reserve reservoir as the likely cause.
As a result, the council installed 14 small tanks at Akaroa’s L’Aube Hill Reserve as a temporary reservoir, with a total capacity of 400,000 litres.
And it has now installed a much larger tank to add an extra 500,000 litres of storage, boosting the network’s total holding capacity to 900,000 litres for the two townships that share a water supply.
"Having the new mega tank in place gives Akaroa and Takamātua’s water supply network a much greater resilience and provides day-to-day reliability for residents," said council head of three waters and waste Helen Beaumont.
"Previously, the 14 smaller tanks held less water than the average daily demand, meaning there was a chance that water could be used faster than we could replenish the tanks.
"But with the new big tank in place, we now have much greater capacity on hand, greatly reducing the chances of pressure losses or shortages in the network.
Beaumont said there will likely still be a need for water restrictions over summer.
"Most water supplies in Banks Peninsula are fed by small streams, which are usually at their lowest when summer water demand is at its highest.
"This affects the rate at which we can process and pump water into the reservoirs. So restrictions will still likely play an important part in making sure we can supply a fair amount of water to everyone over summer."
The council is currently planning to build a new permanent reservoir at L’Aube Hill Reserve with a total capacity of 2 million litres. It is expected to be completed in 2024.