Okato to tap new water supply

Okato residents are welcoming the district council's move to start drilling for a new water supply this summer.

Residents have had to work around water restrictions put in place over the warmer months and that places a strain on the watering of vegetable gardens and on everyday chores.

The New Plymouth District Council announced last week drilling would begin this summer to establish an additional water source for the township.

Resident Jade Fergus said it would be beneficial for the town to have an additional well.

Fergus said it was a balancing act during water restriction months to see how she would spread her water usage, especially with three children and a vegetable garden to look after.

Having a new water supply would "be fantastic", she said.

Kirsty Koboski said Okato was a "pretty self-sustained" community and residents were reliant on water for their gardens.

"I accidentally washed my car once during water restrictions and felt guilty."

Richard Carr, also of Okato, said the only thing that went unwashed when water restrictions were in place were his vehicles.

"It hasn't restricted us much," Carr said.

"The water here is absolutely beautiful and having an extra source would be a good back-up in case of emergencies."

Okato chief fire officer Jared McBride said the water restrictions "never affected" the brigade.

"We just altered our training schedule so as not to use water on training nights."

McBride said Okato was fortunate it had an abundance of open water sources to supply the brigade if a need arose.

"As a resident, I'm not fazed by the water restrictions but if they're going to be a continuing issue, then I think drilling for an additional source is a good idea."

NPDC is asking for tenders for the drilling of two bores, with the aim of bringing one into production as an aquifer source to supplement the town's supply from the Mangatete Stream.

"We want to give the town a more reliable supply of water as the Mangatete is prone to low summer flows and it can silt up quite badly from lahar material during heavy rain," NPDC projects manager Andrew Barron said.

The drilling, to a depth of 90 metres, will take place over summer at a site southeast of the existing water treatment plant on Oxford Rd.

The new water supply is scheduled to be operational in the summer of 2015-16.

Taranaki Daily News