PIPE REPAIRED BUT CONSERVATION NEEDED WHILE WE RETURN TO NORMAL – Hamilton Water

Our teams have replaced the damaged part. Late last night we managed to get water flowing through the entire network and we will be monitoring closely throughout the day. As we monitor this repair and refill our reservoirs, we ask that residents continue to conserve water and refrain from outside water use as we bring the systems up to normal levels.We thank you very much for your conservation efforts to date which have been a huge help in maintaining supply levels across the city as we resolve this issue.

Background and more information.

Hamilton City Council is calling for all residents to urgently conserve water after damage to one of the city’s most important water mains. The conservation measures effectively mean implementing the city’s highest water alert level.

There are no issues with water quality but supply levels could be reduced significantly due to the damage. Alert Level 4 means no outdoor water usage is permitted, but residents are being asked to look at all water usage in their homes and businesses as staff work to repair the Eastern Bulk Main.

The Eastern Bulk Main supplies around 27,000 homes and runs under the Waikato River from the city’s water treatment plant opposite Hamilton Gardens. A substantial section of the riverbank has collapsed around the Bulk Main and there is a significant water leak at the site.

City Waters staff have been on site this morning making the area safe to work in, and identifying the extent of the breach and repair options.

Until the pipe can be repaired, water will be supplied to the Eastern side of the city via the Western Bulk Main and from water stored in reservoirs. This means a concerted effort will be required from the whole city to maintain supply.

City Waters Unit Manager Maire Porter says it’s important for residents to be aware there are no water quality issues, it is simply that the city needs to make the available water go further.

“Until we complete this repair we need everyone to play their part. This is a time when our city can come together to help each other out and we can get through this situation as smoothly as possible.

“We have a team of expert staff who are working to resolve this situation as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will be providing regular updates on the Council’s Facebook page and through media, however it would help get the message out if people can let their friends and neighbours know.”

UPDATE: 7PM THURSDAY: We are now in the next stage of our repair, but still need people to try to conserve water this evening as our hard-working crews continue their efforts. We are endeavouring to get one of the two pipes operating, but this will still mean a reduced water supply to the city. Part of this phase of the repair means we need to flush sections of the network to release trapped air, which means you may see some of our crews flushing water from fire hydrants. You may also experience cloudy or discoloured water for a short time and ‘sputtering’ water supply as trapped air comes through your taps. This work will continue for the next few hours. We will update by 9pm with progress, or earlier if we can confirm the first pipe is fully operational. If you have low pressure please bear with us – if you are out of water please let our call centre know on 838 6699. 

Hamilton City Council staff are continuing to make repairs to the Eastern Bulk Water Main after yesterday’s pipe failure, but are asking the public to continue to conserve water as work begins to provide supply via a second water main.

UPDATE: 8.15PM THURSDAY: REPAIR PROGRESSING BUT WATER SAVINGS STILL NEEDED IN HAMILTON 
Hamilton City Council staff are continuing repair work on a major issue with the city’s Eastern Bulk Water Main.

The Eastern Bulk Main supplies around 27,000 homes and runs under the Waikato River from the city’s water treatment plant opposite Hamilton Gardens. A substantial section of the riverbank collapsed around the Bulk Main and there was a significant water leak at the site earlier today.

City Waters Unit Manager Maire Porter says staff are now in the next phase of the repair and pressure is slowly coming back but there are still likely water pressure-loss issues around the city as air is cleared from the network.

“It’s important for residents to be aware there are no water quality issues, it is simply that the city needs to make the available water go further. The repair work has created another short-term issue for the city as air which has entered the pipes has to be cleared. This ‘bubble’ of air is being pushed out around the city, which will mean short periods of lower pressure as it travels around Hamilton.

“We need to flush sections of the network to release this trapped air. You may see some of our crews flushing water from fire hydrants. You may also experience cloudy or discoloured water for a short time and ‘sputtering’ water supply as trapped air comes through your taps. Please continue to try to conserve water as we fix this issue,” Maire Porter says.

“We really appreciate how people have made an effort to reduce water usage today. Our teams are doing a great job in really difficult conditions tonight – bear with us as we get it sorted,” she says.

Until both pipes can be repaired fully, water will be largely supplied to the Eastern side of the city via the Western Bulk Main and from water stored in reservoirs. This means the concerted water conservation effort will need to be continued for now.

FINAL UPDATE THIS EVENING: WATER SERVICES RESTORED – CONSERVATION STILL NEEDED

Great work by our City Delivery and City Waters teams – and a concerted water-saving effort by residents -  have seen water pressure levels recover across Hamilton after this morning’s major pipe breach. We will be reassessing our water alert levels, but at the moment we are asking residents to avoid outdoor water usage over the long weekend. Normal indoor usage should be fine.

Only one of the two bulk main pipes supplying the Eastern part of the city has been made operational, and it may be some time before we can get service fully restored.

As water supply comes back tonight and particularly in the morning you may see discoloured or cloudy water for a short time. This is normal after pipe flushing, is not a health concern, and normally goes away after running the tap for a few minutes.

Thanks again for your support, we will update again tomorrow morning.

Staff worked late into the night yesterday to re-establish one main, which in conjunction with diverting supply from the Western Bulk Main, restored supply to the city overnight.

“We are working hard to get back to normal but we are trying to avoid undue pressure on our networks as we get the second main up and running,” says Incident Manager Trent Fowles.

“Our community is doing a great job at reducing unnecessary water usage, and we are asking that they continue to avoid outdoor water usage at this time. Our priority now is ensuring we get our network fully operational, and all going well we would hope to achieve this in the next day or so.”

The subsidence at the river bank around the pipe area has also had an effect on some water systems for the city’s award-winning Hamilton Gardens.

“We have staff dedicated to working with the Gardens team to get their supplies operational again, and avoid any disruption for visitors,” Mr Fowles says. “There may be some limited water or toilet facilities at the Gardens today and we encourage visitors to check the Gardens’ Facebook site for updates.

“The repair site is adjacent to the Gardens, and we have heavy machinery and workers in the area so we also ask visitors and motorists in the area to take extra care as we complete this important work.”

Further information on the status of the repairs will be announced later today.

7.30PM UPDATE: REPAIR PROGRESSING WELL
Our repair teams have reported great progress on site and have cleared the flooded area and are preparing to replace the damaged part. We are monitoring water pressure levels across the city but it appears the community reducing outdoor water usage is enabling us to maintain pressures for home use at present. Please refrain from using outdoor water systems this evening across the city - today’s rain was useful. We expect the valve to be replaced in the next few hours and then can start pumping from the water treatment plant again. This will mean some fluctuations in pressure as air is expelled from the network and potentially some discolouration of water and ‘sputtering’ of taps as this clears. This is perfectly normal for this type of work and will clear in a few minutes of the tap running. Bear with us, we’re doing this work as quickly as we can.

 

An unexpected failure to a critical valve related to yesterday’s Bulk Water Main issue has occurred late this afternoon. This means the city again needs urgent water conservation measures this evening. Some elevated areas of Hillcrest which were affected yesterday are likely to have similar effects, while the rest of the city may experience pressure fluctuations over the next several hours while the repair is completed.

The Eastern Bulk Main supplies around 27,000 homes and runs under the Waikato River from the city’s water treatment plant opposite Hamilton Gardens. A substantial section of the riverbank collapsed around the Bulk Main yesterday. Repair crews were on site yesterday and last night managed to restore partial supply. Work has continued on the site today and staff were looking to complete the repair late tonight to reduce disruption for residents when the valve failed.

“This is obviously not ideal, but at least our crews were in place and had the replacement parts ready for the full repair later this evening. When the valve failed we immediately had to divert supply for the Eastern side of the city from the Western Main, as we did yesterday,” says City Waters manager Maire Porter.

“We expect this has reduced water supply to a few homes. We would appreciate people in the area letting their neighbours know what has caused the disruption and our teams are working as quickly as possible to restore water. If people have no water supply they can contact our customer service centre on 838 6699. There will be pressure disruptions in the rest of the city as we had yesterday, but we look forward to having normal service restored later this evening.”

Published as per Several Press Releases from Hamilton City Council. Image from Hamilton City Council / Facebook

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