Auckland’s massive rainfall earlier in March has put the city’s water supply under pressure, with silt in dams causing issues at an Auckland treatment plant.
The Ardmore treatment plant, which supplies about half of Auckland’s water, needs time to allow sediment to settle after this week's flash flooding.
Pressure on the plant caused by the silt has meant only half of the city’s water has been able to be processed.
Water NZ chief executive John Pfahlert told The New Zealand Herald “a week or two” was needed for the water processing plant to return to full operating capacity.
Meanwhile Aucklanders face a water shortage, and have been asked to make water savings of up 20 litres a day by each person, which is roughly about two buckets worth.
This saving needs to be continued till the end of March in order to ensure the cleanliness of water systems.
Pfahlert said some serious lifestyle changes, especially with showers and toilets, were needed in order to cope with the "emergency situation".
NZME reports Watercare have issued a statement which says if water savings can’t be achieved, then partially-treated water may have to be introduced into the system and a boiling water notice issued.
Here are our top tips for saving water at home:
1. Cut back on showering time. Cutting your 10 minute shower to around 2 or 3 minutes can save litres of water. We've had success putting our phone on a timer to remind us when to shut the water off, and another way to cut back is by turning the shower off when you're shampooing/conditining or soaping yourself, then rinsing.
2. If it’s yellow, let it mellow... Flushing less often means less water waste. But the rule goes if it’s brown, flush it down.
3. Turn off the tap when brushing teeth. Did you know water comes out the average tap at almost nine litres per minute? While you’re brushing your teeth all that water is just flowing down the drain. Turn off the tap after you wet your brush and use cooled boiled water from the jug to rinse.
4. Don’t do the dishes (or at least not as often). Dishes must be done, but try to cut back on how many times you do this a day. If you can, run one bowl of water with washing liquid and move from the cleanest things to the dirtiest to utilise the bowl.
5. Only run the washing machine with a full load. While you're at it, opt for shorter washing cycles and consider things that can wait till after the ban is lifted.
6. Reuse pasta water. If you've used water to prepare your pasta don't throw it down the drain. Use it to water household plants of the garden.
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