Buller District Council

Punakaiki water supply update

9th February, 2021

On Sunday afternoon Buller District Council became aware of a potential interruption of the raw water supply feeding the Punakaiki treatment plant.

Operators attended the plant to start standard procedures and to protect reserve capacity. The tanks were found to be approximately 90% full at the time.

This level of storage provides Punakaiki around a week’s worth of supply under normal use. On that basis, council has not yet applied restriction measures until it has better understanding about what may have occurred.

As the drinking water supplier, council has the legal responsibility to ensure that the system supplies safe, adequate, and reliable water to consumers.

Council’s group manager infrastructure services Mike Duff says the drinking water supplier has authority to enter land where public waterworks infrastructure is located for the purposes of inspection, repairs, and maintenance. And that council also has a duty to investigate any potential risks to the supply.

“We will inspect the intake and raw water pipeline today (Tuesday) and will follow the necessary steps and protocols including health and safety risk assessment and notifying private land-owners as soon as practical. Depending on what is found, we will develop an appropriate response plan.

I would like to reassure the Punakaiki community that council is actively monitoring the situation to ensure continuity of safe drinking water”.

After today’s (Tuesday) inspection council will plan the next steps and will keep the community informed.


For more information please contact:

Buller District Council
Group Manager Infrastructure Services
Mike Duff


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