Renwick faces watering rules

ROBIN RAYMOND
Last updated 07:58 21/12/2012

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Watering restrictions were put in place for Renwick yesterday, and more restrictions could be on the way for other parts of Marlborough in the new year.

The Marlborough District Council told Renwick residents they can water their gardens on alternate days only, because of the low water levels in the town's aquifer.

Council operations and maintenance engineer Stephen Rooney said water supplies in Havelock and Picton were also being closely monitored, but should last until early next year.

In Picton, the Speeds Rd aquifer was at a healthy level, but the water level in the Barnes dam was dropping and restrictions could be needed next year if it stayed dry, Mr Rooney said.

In Renwick, the restrictions mean properties with even-numbered addresses may use their sprinklers only on even-numbered days and those with odd-numbered street address are restricted to odd-numbered days.

Only one tap should be used at a time to run a sprinkler or sprinkler systems.

There was no restriction on hand-held hoses but residents were asked to be sensible and keep that to a minimum, Mr Rooney said.

The council was acting early in the hope of preventing an outright watering ban, he said.

"If everyone follows good water conservation habits, this low-level water restriction may be all that is necessary.

"However, if people ignore the ban and it gets drier, an outright ban may have to be imposed."

Although rain was forecast for Friday, it was unlikely to have a big impact in Renwick, and the restrictions would be in place until further notice, he said.

SAVE WATER

Don't leave automatic irrigation systems running for long periods.

Use a timer to irrigate at night or water in the early morning or in the evening when it's cooler.

Buy a garden hose with drippers, or a seep hose.

Consider installing flow limiters to taps to reduce water volume.

Make some garden beds "no-watering" areas.

There are a variety of plants that tolerate little water, including lavender, geraniums, kowhai and cacti.

Sweep paths instead of hosing or water blasting.

Wash the car and house windows from a bucket rather than a hose. It requires only a few buckets at 10 litres each instead of a hose sending out 15 to 20 litres a minute.

Reduce the flush on your toilet. Use the half-flush button or, if it is a single-flush system, put a water-filled, sealed bottle inside the cistern to displace water.

Run your dishwasher only when it's full.

Don't run the tap as much – store cold drinking water in the fridge and use a small bowl of water rather than a full sink to wash vegetables, your hands or teeth, or for shaving.

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Share bath water and limit showers to five minutes or less. That can use up to 50 litres less per person each time.

Report water leaks on roads or footpaths to the council as soon as you can.

Divert "grey water" for garden use, or collect rainwater.

Consider removing your waste disposal unit below the sink. Use a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi instead.

- The Marlborough Express

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