Search is on for Twizel water supply

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013

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More than $40,000 will be spent on two test wells, as Mackenzie District Council attempts to find a suitable source for Twizel's new water supply.

Council asset manager Bernie Haar said its best two alternatives for drilling a test well could be near the Glen Lyon Rd or Rhoboro Downs Rd.

"Even if neither produce the result we want, at least we would have a better idea of what it could cost us [for the new water supply]," Mr Haar said.

State-owned generator Meridian signalled its disapproval of the council's preferred test site near the Pukaki Canal and Fraser Culvert late last year, citing possible effects on the canals.

The council wants to source its new, gravitational-fed supply for Twizel from nearby Ben Ohau Station; the construction is expected to cost between $4 million and $5m. However, Mr Haar said it might have to choose another site.

"We're still talking to the major players, and we hope to get somewhere further soon. Ideally, the two test wells could be ready within the next month or so," he said.

Mr Haar said the cost of the drilling and installation of the two test wells should be about $40,000-$45,000. Utilities manager John O'Connor's report said choosing a different drilling site to the council's preferred option was risky due to lack of information on groundwater.

"There is a possible risk of contamination from activities in the Ben Ohau Homestead area. The chances of finding a suitable source are very risky but we will never know unless we look," Mr O'Connor said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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