Council not giving up on water

29 July 2016
Waipa District Council

An underground water supply has been found at McNair Park in Te Awamutu, but not enough for the Waipa District Council to justify sinking a production bore.​

For the last six months the Council has been searching for alternate water supplies for Te Awamutu to supplement the limited water it can legally take from the Maungauika Stream on Mt Pirongia.  The Council's water take is restricted under its resource consent from the Waikato Regional Council.​

A new bore in Frontier Road was found before Christmas and now provides enough water for nearly 1,200 Waipa households.  The Council has also drilled test bores at Te Tahi, Pirongia and Taylor's Hill but they could not supply enough water and were initially discounted.​

Drilling begin on Picquet Hill at McNair Park in May and test bores went much deeper than at other sites. While an underground aquifer was discovered, group manager service delivery Barry Begin said it was unlikely to be able to supply enough water to justify sinking a production bore.

"Ideally, we really need to be able to take more than one million litres of water per day from a bore to make it viable and the Picquet Hill bore is well short of that."​

While the latest drilling operation has not provided a viable water supply it has revealed useful data about deep water aquifers in the area.  Based on that, the council will now return to Taylor's Hill and try again, this time drilling deeper.​

"Given what we now know about the local geology, we believe a deeper bore at Taylor's Hill may yield enough water to make it cost-effective, especially given Taylor Hill's close proximity to the existing water reservoir.  It means we wouldn't have to pump water far," Bergin said.  ​

"So we're not giving up. We will back at Taylor's Hill to drill again before deciding on other potential options."

Drilling work will resume at Taylor's Hill in August with results expected by the end of September.   Based on what's found, a decision will be made about whether or not to test other sites.