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DCC - Deep Creek water supply back on line

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Water from Dunedin’s Deep Creek catchment is once again feeding into the city’s water supply.

The Dunedin City Council stopped taking water from the Deep Creek catchment on Saturday after a major fire in the Lammerlaw ranges put the catchment at risk. The DCC said yesterday it was pretty confident the catchment was unaffected, but it would have formal confirmation today.

DCC Group Manager 3 Waters Tom Dyer says, "Aerial photos provided that confirmation early today and so we started taking water again from Deep Creek this morning.

"Deep Creek is one of our key water catchments so it’s great to know it can continue to supply safe drinking water to Dunedin residents."

Deep Stream, which usually provides 80% of the city’s water, remains out of action after the fire burnt through 75% of that catchment. The DCC will know more by early next week about how long it will take to get Deep Stream back on line. At this stage, the Deep Stream catchment could be off line for 3 to 12 months.

Dunedin residents are being asked to continue to limit their water use while DCC staff assess the overall implications of the fire for the city’s supply in the medium term. At this stage, it seems likely voluntary restrictions will remain in place over the summer. The DCC may have to consider more formal restrictions based on the weather and water use over coming months.

Mr Dyer says Dunedin has multiple sources of water, but Deep Stream and Deep Creek are strategically important to the city as they can supply all suburbs.

Both Deep Creek and Deep Stream are tributaries of the Taieri River. They are ‘run of river’ catchments (not reservoirs as previously stated), meaning the water is essentially not stored on the way. It is piped from the waterways to the city’s water treatment plants.

"The city’s usual water use is about 44,000cu m a day. With Deep Stream out of action, we’ll be taking about 15% of our water from the neighbouring Deep Creek catchment and 85% from different sources, such as the Silverstream and Taieri bores from the Taieri River."

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