Water supply levels in both Franz Josef and Fox Glacier are being monitored as the tourist season ramps up again.

Fox residents were asked to conserve water earlier this week as the town supply ran low due to increased demand.

In Franz Josef last week some residents were without water for part of the day.

However, the Westland District Council says that outage was due to an operational issue.


Council district assets group manager Vivek Goel, said Westroads staff had worked on the pumps at the Fox water treatment plant on Tuesday to improve the flow.

Users had been asked to conserve water for 24 hours while the work to increase the volume of water being produced at the water treatment plant was carried out.

Goel said yesterday that had been achieved and council had not been advised of water issues since.

Last week Franz residents were without water due to a temporary plant shut down.

Goel said the plant suffered a lightning strike which took out all communications. When that happened the plant went into manual mode, meaning water was not being treated at the same rate.

Goel said there were always limits to how much water could be taken and treated through both plants.

Both plants had a high demand and the council was keeping a "very close eye" on each.

For the previous two summers Franz has been caught short due to a culmination of the peak season and dry weather.


A back-up reservoir, capable of holding 200,000 litres, went in the ground last year.
Before that the council was forced to cart between 250 and 300 cubic metres of water a day from the nearby Tartare River at a cost of $120,000.

Former Westland mayor Mike Havill said the peak times during summer had been identified as between 5pm and 8pm.

"We just can't treat enough water in that that short time to meet the demand."

A long-term solution was to analyse the demand imposed by the tourist population and establish another source of water.

Meanwhile, a $484,000 upgrade of the Fox Glacier water supply is planned for 2018 as part of the council's 10-year long term plan.

- Hokitika Guardian