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Aucklanders urged to conserve water

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/03/2017

Aucklanders have been urged to reduce their water use because of the impact of this week's "off-the-chart" rainfall on the city's largest water treatment plant.

Watercare wants people to cut their daily consumption by 20 litres, or about two bucketfuls, for the rest of March.

Around half of Auckland's water comes from four water storage dams in the Hunua Ranges and is treated at Ardmore.

Watercare says the Ardmore plant is treating 50 per cent less water than normal because the flow from the dams contains a lot of silt from slips and erosion.

"Our focus is on ensuring our customers receive high-quality water that is safe to drink straight from the tap," chief executive Raveen Jaduram said on Thursday.

"We're achieving this at the moment, but we have had to cut back on the volume of water being treated at our largest plant in order to maintain this quality.''

NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll said the volume of rain that fell in the upper Hunua Ranges in the 12-hour period from 4.30pm on Tuesday - 225mm - was "off the chart".

He said that "well exceeds" what would be considered a one-in-100-year event "and it's not over yet".

"We're expecting more deluges tomorrow and into the weekend.," he said.

Power company Vector said it had restored some power in flooded areas of the Auckland region, but about 70 households were still without.

It said road blockages from slips and flooding was making it difficult to access sites and there were a number of power poles needing to be replaced.

It hoped to have Clevedon and about half of Kawakawa Bay's residents power restored by Thursday night.

In Northland, Civil Defence officials said rain had been intense in some areas on Thursday.

They have advised residents to be aware of the possibility of localised flooding and to keep themselves informed before they travel.

In the Coromandel Peninsula, some roads remain closed because of slips and washouts, while others have restricted access.

TIPS FOR SAVING WATER

* Cut shower time by two minutes (about 16 litres saved)

* Turn off tap when brushing teeth (4 litres)

* Don't use toilet to flush rubbish (7 litres)

* Run dishwasher and washing machine only when full.

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