Rainfall brings reprieve for Whakatane's water issues

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It's likely that Whakatane will finish the summer period without the need for water restrictions.

Heavy rainfalls in the upper Whakatane River catchment on Monday night - prompted a big increase in river flows - putting at least a temporary end to the problems of salty drinking water.

However there's no more rain in the forecast before late next week, and the improvement in the river may not last.

That means conservation notices will stay in place in the meantime.

Council Public Affairs Manager Ross Boreham says it's taken a big effort to avoid water restrictions.

“It’s been a constant battle, I think our water treatment people have done a phenomenal job in ensuring they can keep the inflows and processing volumes up to a point that has allowed us to keep resevoir storage at a reasonable level.

“The river flow will drop but we’re not expecting it to drop to a level where salinity will become an issue again.

“If that is the case we will have to revisit the water conservation call - but we’re hoping we don’t need to do that.”

He says conservation signage will remain erected across the District until further notice, as a precaution.

Sam Gardner