31 Dec 2015

Water runs low for Rotorua village

8:22 pm on 31 December 2015

Engineers expect to find out tomorrow what has caused the water supply in a small Bay of Plenty town of Mamaku to fail.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The pump broke overnight on Tuesday and a Rotorua Lakes Council spokesperson said it had taken staff and contractors all day to dig up the faulty pump, which was buried in a bore 250 metres underground.

They brought it to the surface just after 6pm and will start work on it tomorrow.

She said the town's 600 residents had heeded the call to cut back on water usage, and the backup bore pump, supplemented by a water tanker, had held up well.

Rotorua Lakes Council water operations manager Eric Cawte said the pump was fairly new, and was not due for any maintenance.

The council was not sure when the water supply will be up and running again, but said residents could stay updated via the council's Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the town, which lies 20 kilometres north west of Rotorua, is set to get some rain tonight, which will replenish supplies.

Mamaku residents association chair Peter Mullen earlier said he was contacting everyone he knew asking them to pass on the message to save water.

"I've just managed to speak to some people and intercept them before they water the garden," he said. "As a rural community you've got lifestyle blocks and farms using water. So it's obviously pretty urgent this gets fixed."

Mr Mullen said the council had already trucked extra water into the town.

Many properties also have rainwater tanks, including resident John Rush.

"I've got a 1000 litre tank of water, and quite a few of us have got tank supply for watering our gardens, and just in case of these sorts of things or just because we prefer to drink the rainwater rather than the town supply water," he said. "It's full of chlorine."

Some tanks are bigger than others

Mr Rush said because mains water was fairly new to the area, many properties still had tanks onsite.

"Friends of mine just up the road, they've got a very deep water [tank] which used to probably contain around 20,000 litres of water," he said. "It was underground, just on the back lawn."

"We all know it's there because a horse fell into it just a few nights ago and had to be dragged out."

"The horse went straight into the tank and it took a massive effort to get it out," he said.

He said nobody wanted to fall into a tank, "especially if you're a horse".

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