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Strong winds may be affecting water pressure in Taupō

Taupō residents may have noticed lower water pressure than usual during the last couple of weeks. Strong winds have resulted in debris entering the intake screen and filters at the Lake Terrace Water Treatment Plant and Council are asking residents to check and clean household filters.

The typically strong winds from the west and south experienced this time of year stirs up the Lake which results in unusually high loads of debris being screened. Some of this vegetative/organic matter is so small it passes the filters at the Water Treatment Plant.

Infrastructure Manager, Denis Lewis, says that while the Water Treatment Plant’s (WTP) filters remove most solids, some tiny vegetative/organic matter is able to pass through. “Consequently this can result in blockages of internal filters within household plumbing systems. The existing WTP at Lake Terrace has limited ability to take out very fine debris; of course this will significantly improve after commissioning of the new WTP.”

Mr Lewis says the typical domestic filters fitted to household plumbing systems and washing machines are generally a finer mesh size than that of the strainers at the Lake Terrace WTP. “Council’s maintenance contractors are attending to some of the reported problems. We are also planning to undertake a programme of mains flushing which is due to commence early next week.”

“We are asking house holders who are experiencing water pressure problems to clean the filters fitted to the household plumbing or appliances such as hot water system, shower head and washing machines,” says Mr Lewis.

Construction of the WTP upgrade on the Lake Terrace site is currently underway. The four stage development will ensure Taupō’s drinking water meets new Government standards. The new plant is due to be complete in 2013. “The new plant will have better filtrations systems that will be able to remove these smaller particles from the water, which will greatly improve Taupō’s water quality and also reduce the issues we are currently experiencing.”