Water restrictions put on Western Bay

By Sonya Bateson

The Western Bay is to impose water restrictions for the first time in about eight years.

Western Bay District Council utilities manager Kelvin Hill said overnight on Thursday he had noticed the water reservoirs were not topping up - an indicator of increased water consumption.

This was the first time in a number of years water restrictions had been put in place in the Western Bay, Mr Hill said.

"It happens rarely. We haven't had one for a few years. We had one in about 2003 and another one again around 2005."

Mr Hill said the council was asking for people who lived in odd numbered street addresses to water on odd-numbered days and those with even numbers on even-numbered days. There was also a total ban between 9pm and 6am.

Depending on how the first few weeks of March went, the restrictions could be imposed for a longer period of time or possibly with stricter restrictions.

"It depends on how well people conserve water now. If people follow the restrictions, we should be fine. If we don't get any rain in the next couple of weeks, we will evaluate it at the time and will have to go to the next stage if things don't improve."

He said people in the district were generally good with conserving water so it was about being proactive rather than reactive.

"If everyone helps out, we will get through this fine. The main thing is making sure our customers have drinking water and other run-of-the-mill things."

The water restrictions will be put in place in urban and rural areas including Waihi Beach, Katikati, Omokoroa, Te Puna, Te Puke, Maketu, Pukehina and Paengaroa until April 1.

Ratepayers who require more information, are encouraged to contact the council's customer services team on 571 8008.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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