Leaks force Okato water use warning

17:00, Jun 13 2014

Okato's water supply is under strain after contractors punctured the town's water main.

New Plymouth District Council water and waste manager Mark Hall said the reservoir was drained to less than half following the incident which occurred around 4pm on Thursday.

"Essentially they have caught a fire hydrant box and a fair bit of water has come out of that."

"I think it (reservoir) got pretty low, we lost enough water for it to be a concern," he said

Hall said the town's water supply was turned off for a few hours while the main was fixed.

"It was reconnected later on Thursday night and we have been able to half-fill the reservoir overnight."

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However, yesterday morning a second leak was discovered and a statement asking residents to conserve water issued by the council.

When the Taranaki Daily News visited the rural community yesterday water could be seen spurting out of a small leak near the bridge over the Kaihihi stream.

Cafe Lahar owner Laurent Manderson said he knew nothing about the leak until he went to mop the cafe's floors.

"We were oblivious to it all," he said.

Cheryl Peacock, who works at the Four Square, she said that while she didn't know too much about the water loss, there was potential for it to have been a big problem for the small community.

Peacock said the town was often under water restrictions during the dry months of summer, but had been all right given the large amount of rain in the last month.

"A big leak could really affect the township," she said.

"To lose a lot of water is not a good thing."

Temporary repairs have been made and residents can use their water as normal, but were asked to minimise water wastage while the reservoir refilled.

When permanent repairs were made next week, residents would be made aware as the water would need to be turned off while the work was completed.

Taranaki Daily News