Potential water supply issues for Opotiki supply

6/07/2019 2:00 p.m.

​The Opotiki Water Supply Plant suffered a critical failure on Friday 5 July and is experiencing ongoing technical issues. Staff and contractors have been on site working on the repairs since the failure, but the work is not expected to be complete until Tuesday 9 July at the earliest.

The failure at the water plant was caused by electrical short circuiting on the main computer terminal. These failures can happen at any time and can take several days to repair depending on the severity.

In 2016 the Opotiki supply had a contingency line installed along Otara Road to allow water to bypass the water plant and feed directly into town in the event of this type of failure. Council staff were able to activate the bypass without the need to stop water to town and with minimal pressure loss, however this has caused some instances of discolouration which is unfortunately unavoidable.

The discolouration is due to turbulence in the water lines. When water is redirected, air that is trapped in the pipes is released. This causes minerals that build up over time to be stirred up. They are always present in the water and build up on the sides of pipes. When air is released it dislodges these minerals in the mainlines and in your home plumbing and varies from house to house. The easiest way to remove the discolouration is to run an outside tap until the water runs clear.

We are advising that until the repair is complete there could be times of low pressure, and potentially even full loss of water supply along with possible further discolouration any time over the next few days. The discolouration is not harmful, though it can stain laundry. Please check at the tap before doing washing. As the Opotiki and Hikutaia water supplies are the same supply (there are no separate bores for the Hikutaia area, it’s all the same water) this area may also be affected.

Update: 9 July 2019

Repairs are still underway and contractors are reporting it could still be another day or two before we have the fix in place.​

In the interim the contingency bypass we enabled on Sunday is working and from reports only a few people still have discoloured water. The water is safe for drinking. It is coming from Opotiki's aquifer which is really good water. It is aged water which means it's had years of filtration through subterranean aggregates and has secure source status according to Ministry of Health requirements -  so there are no bad bugs.

Any discoloured water that remains is likely residual from the bypass implementation on Sunday 7 July, so we're asking anyone that still has discoloured water to call Council, direct message on Facebook or use the Antenno app to log a service request so we can come round and help get it sorted.​​

Page reviewed: 09 Jul 2019 1:01pm