Buller District Council

Punakaiki Water Supply- Information

9th January, 2020

Update 13 January 2020

Water Storage / Recovery

Punakaiki Tank Levels:

  • Top Tank = 73%
  • Village Tanks (Klip-tanks) = 75%

Water Conservation Status

With this weekend’s rainfall in the backcountry and the subsequent turbidity levels in the catchments there has been some reduction in water production and recovery levels for Punakaiki.

The prudent approach is to extend the water conservation status till Wednesday the 15th January.

Information in regard to Punakaiki water supply

Status of the Land Acquisition Process:

  • Council operates and maintains the Punakaiki Water Supply.
  • The Supply serves not only the relatively small resident population, but also a large visitor population.
  • The water intake for the Supply was constructed by Buller County Council in the mid-late 1980’s on Crown land.
  • In 1988, the then lessee of the land purchased it from the Crown. The new owner consented to Council’s use and access to the land.
  • One of the current landowners purchased the land in 1989.
  • Council has a valid resource consent to take water from the relevant authority (WCRC).
  • The water intake for the Supply is located on private property.
  • Council has been unable to reach an agreement with the landowners to acquire the land on which the water intake is situated, and access rights.
  • Council have engaged professional property experts to represent it and undertake negotiations on its behalf.
  • A report has been prepared which sets out the options for Council.
  • Recommendations were made to Council at last November’s meeting based on the property experts report.
  • Council resolved to confirm its objective to acquire land and access rights to fulfill its duties as the public water supplier under the Local Government and Health Acts.
  • Council intends to recommence negotiations with the landowners.

Status of the Supply:

  • Current Water Levels:
    Top tanks (210,000L capacity) = 50%, Village tanks (500,000L capacity) = 60%, current treated water storage approximately 400,000L.
    Continued water conservation efforts by the Punakaiki Community are greatly appreciated and helping restore levels.
  • Recovery Rates:
    Estimated time to reach 100% capacity is 5 days i.e. by Monday 13th Jan assuming no further interruptions or abnormal usage.
    At 100% capacity (710,000L) and normal usage, the treated water storage is designed to provide 10 days reserve.
  • Temporary Repairs:
    A quick-fix has been completed in order to restore raw water supply and treated water production.
    A more enduring repair is planned for early next week once methodology and material procurement is finalised.
  • Active Monitoring:
    Council and our contractor are actively monitoring raw water supply, treated water production, tank levels and recovery rates to ensure normal service is resumed as soon as possible.
    Further updates will be provided by Council, including any changes to the current water conservation status.

Status of the Weir Damage Investigation:

  • A joint investigation between Council and the Police is underway and ongoing.

Clarification of Service Levels:

  • As the drinking water supplier, Council is responsible for ensuring that a safe and adequate supply of water is delivered to consumers up to the point of supply.
  • The point of supply is (normally) the connection between Council’s network and the private property pipeline, and is (usually) at the meter or toby valve.
  • Consistent with national guidelines, Council’s minimum service level targets under normal operating conditions at the point of supply are:
    Pressure (P) > 200 kPa
    Flow rate (Q) > 25 L/m
  • Due to practical and physical limitations (and possible unforeseen circumstances), Council cannot guarantee an uninterrupted supply of water, of a particular quality, or at a particular pressure or flow rate.
  • There are some simple checks to confirm whether your property is meeting the above service level targets. Please contact Council so we can assist you or to arrange testing.
  • Potential causes for low pressure and flow rate are numerous and it is important to diagnose correctly. Council can assist to identify both the problems and solutions. Please contact us if you are experiencing supply issues.



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