26 Mar 2010

Sprinkler test urged in drought-hit north

9:44 pm on 26 March 2010

Far North District Council is advising businesses with fire sprinkler systems to check they still work under low water pressure.

The council has reduced mains pressure in Kaitaia to save water in the drought-affected region.

It says the pressure is still within the council standards for sprinklers, and sprinkler systems should have been designed to meet those standards.

The council says other organisations with sprinklers should check with their installers to make sure they will function.

Kaitaia Hospital and the town's rest home say their systems are working properly.

Road maintenance halted

Deepening drought conditions have put a stop to routine road maintenance in the Far North.

The council says road surfaces cannot be properly consolidated after grading work without water.

It has ordered contractors to stop grading metal roads unless it is absolutely essential.

The council has also banned all roadside grass-mowing north of Kaitaia and east of State Highway 1 because of the fire risk.

It says it regrets any inconvenience to motorists, but because of the very low flows in streams and the extreme fire risk there are no alternatives.