Water main bursts in Hawea

The water supply to Lake Hawea residents is business as usual after a section of pipe failed on the reservoir side of the burst control valve last Sunday morning. According to Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), the exact cause of the failure is unknown. Most residents had access to water within a few hours; however, they were asked to conserve water over the course of the day to help the reservoir refill.

QLDC senior communications advisor Rebecca Pitts said their maintenance contractor was first made aware of the issue around 8am due to low reservoir level alarms. No notable damage is associated with the water main burst, and no further action is required by Hawea residents.

Pitts said once a reservoir has been drained, the fill time can vary between 10 and 30 hours based on demand and the fill rate.

She said the depleted water supply did not pose a fire hazard. “The Hawea network operates on a rising/falling main system which does not require the reservoir to be connected to provide fire flows. In this configuration, the pressure generated by the pumps in the bores is used to pressurise the network, with the reservoir providing storage only, rather than relying on the head of the reservoir to generate the network pressure.”

QLDC maintains eight public water supply schemes throughout the District, including Wanaka, Lake Hawea and Luggate.


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