Aucklanders relieved of water restrictions

updated By Talisa Kupenga

Watercare has given Aucklanders the all-clear to consume water at normal levels again despite the remnants of Cyclone Debbie being just around the corner. After nearly a month of the "Save 20-litres" campaign, Watercare says it is confident it can "see-out" any additional events.

Watercare raises a glass to the end of its "Save 20" campaign and says it's confident stocks can meet consumer demand despite Cyclone Debbie remnants and Winter fast approaching.

Watercare Environmental and consents manager Mark Bourne says "this means the five plants that serve the people from Pukekohe in the South to Waiwera in the North can now reliably produce 500-million-litres of water per day. We are confident that this is enough to meet Auckland's normal water demand for this time of year."

Watercare Water supply manager Priyan Perera says Cyclone Debbie’s impacts have been considered.

"We have been looking at the forecast with regards to Cyclone Debbie and at this stage we're advised there's minimal impact on Auckland itself."

The Ardmore plant, which provides two-thirds of Auckland's water supply, is now running at 70 percent capacity. While water quality has improved Watercare says the type of silt that contributed to the plant shutting down could still present a problem.

Mr Perera says "the silt is quite fine and it has remained in the water but as I said we've adapted Ardmore to deal with that as best it can."

"With regard to what we're going to do inside the catchment we're already working with Auckland Council as to some mitigations we're able to put in place there, practical ones that we can initiate quickly."

These mitigations also include a $1.9billion cash injection by Watercare over the next 10-years into water infrastructure alone, securing new water sources and building new treatment plants, storage reservoirs and pipes.

Mr Bourne says "already we're working with Auckland Council to identify measures that could be implemented to manage slips in the Hunua ranges and we're investigating how we can adapt our Ardmore water treatment plant so that it can treat water with higher levels of silt more easily.

Watercare says it hopes Aucklanders retain their water consumption reductions and new habits become ingrained following this campaign.