Buller District Council

Media Release – Water Supply Stable for Westport & Carters Beach Residents

30th October, 2017

Council has removed water restrictions on the Westport & Carters Beach supply with all consumers urged to be conservative, including good practice water saving tips (available on website).

In line with the water supply transition plan, status was downgraded last week to Conservation after the reservoir capacity remained above 75% for 14 consecutive days. Conservation replaces ‘normal use’ for the current system. The reservoir registered 100% full on October 25 2017.

Group Manager, Mike Duff says, “Reaching 100% is a significant milestone on our path to stability. We needed to prove that we could do it with the system we have today. We’ve learnt how to deal with various scenarios, and this has built our resilience and confidence levels.”

“Now that we have stabilised the situation, the governance team has also downgraded our response to ‘Active Monitoring’. This means we will still continue with our risk reduction strategies, but other incident control functions will be eased off or disbanded completely for now.”

Important initiatives such as the town bulk water storage and bore water supplies will still be completed in readiness for any future emergency event. Other key improvements including the new raw water line and the major leak repair program will also continue. However, frequency of coordinated activities such as briefings and reports will now decrease to weekly, effective November 1 2017.

To manage risk, reservoir level of between 92% and 100% (or 19 to 21 days supply) has been adopted as the normal operating range. Council’s contracting partner has been tasked with maintaining levels within this tolerance, which will also give them some flexibility in regard pumping cycles and scheduled maintenance planning. The low threshold for full reactivation of the Incident Management Team has been set at 75% full (or 14 days reserve) to ensure there is sufficient time to respond if circumstances change.

“Whilst this has been a difficult period for all concerned, we have come through the other side and much better for the experience. From 42% full less than two months ago to now 100% has required a good plan, and even better execution and support from the community. In many ways, it has been a trial run proving that when we all pull together, we can get the job done. This will be invaluable for any future civil emergency.”

“We can almost go back to normal now. But the challenge is to keep our eye on the ball and put enough safeguards in place so that we never return to the danger zone” says Mr Duff.

Active Monitoring Plan

The Active Monitoring Plan:

  • Water use status is now Conservation for all consumers.
  • Council will continue to monitor reservoir capacity on a daily basis and use this information to forecast potential status changes
  • If capacity drops below 75%, the Incident Management Team (IMT) and governance group will reconvene.
  • If capacity drops below 50% at any time, Essential Use will be reinstated for all consumers.

Water Restriction Definitions


  • Water use for drinking, food preparation, hygiene and sanitary purposes only.
  • A complete ban on any outdoor water use.


  • Limited use of water for operational and maintenance priorities as required for business sustainability.
  • Limited residential outdoor use with hand-held buckets, watering cans, water blasters and low flow devices/attachments.
  • No high-use consumption/filling activities or general hard-surface hosing is permitted.


  • Considerate use of water for all activities, following Council’s water saving tips (available on our website, bullerdc.govt.nz).
  • Conservation replaces ‘normal use’ for our current system.

Council wishes to thank consumers on the Westport and Carters Beach Water Supply for their ongoing patience and co-operation.


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