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Dunedin residents asked to continue to conserve water following fire

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Dunedin’s Deep Creek catchment appears to have escaped the weekend’s fire, but residents are being asked to continue to limit their water use.

Mayor of Dunedin Aaron Hawkins says, "Thanks to the great efforts of Fire and Emergency personnel, and the very welcome rain, we can be pretty confident one of Dunedin’s key water catchments - Deep Creek - is unaffected by the major fire in the Lammerlaw ranges.

"We should have formal confirmation of this tomorrow and then we can resume taking water from Deep Creek. This means we can continue to supply safe drinking water to all Dunedin residents.

"However, we are still asking residents to voluntarily conserve water while we assess the implications for supply in the medium term. At this stage, it seems likely voluntary restrictions will remain in place over the summer. We may have to consider more formal restrictions based on the weather and water use over coming months."

Dunedin City Council Group Manager 3 Waters Tom Dyer says the city’s primary source of water is the Deep Stream catchment and it’s out of action because of the fire and will remain so for the next three months to a year.

Dunedin has multiple sources of water, but Deep Stream and Deep Creek are strategically important to the city as they can supply all suburbs. DCC staff are assessing the best ways to manage the city’s overall water supply in the medium term.

The fire burnt through about 75% of the Deep Stream catchment (approx. 3500ha), meaning water can’t be taken because it will be contaminated by ash and a small amount of fire suppressant chemical.

The city’s usual water use is about 44,000cu m a day. This can continue to be met from a range of treated water sources.

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