Today, our staff were able to catch their first glimpse of Muriwai Water Treatment Plant following Cyclone Gabrielle – a facility that normally serves 211 properties but is now inoperable – thanks to the support of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Incident controller Nigel Toms noted that some structures were buried by slips while others were intact. However, a thorough inspection was not possible due to the instability of the surrounding land.
“Our plant and reservoir sit at the base of a cliff where a major landslide occurred. While Fire and Emergency kindly escorted staff on a brief visit earlier today, it’s too dangerous to carry out thorough inspections or remedial work at this time,” says Toms.
“Currently, the community’s taps are dry. However, we have a tanker in front of the Sand Dunz Beach Café providing emergency water. We encourage people to bring containers to fill up.
“We are liaising with Auckland Emergency Management to see if there is further support that can be provided in the coming days.”
Toms cautions that it may take a week or more to implement an interim solution that restores the water supply.
“Our engineers are looking to supply the local network directly using large tanker trailers. We will hopefully have more clarity on whether this is feasible in the coming days.”
Te Whatu Ora spokesperson, Dr David Sinclair, medical officer of health, also commented:
“Flood water is often contaminated with bacteria, so people need to keep up good hand hygiene during this time.
“When water is in short supply, you can keep clean water in a bowl with disinfectant and wash your hands in that.
“It’s also important to only use clean water for preparing food and when cleaning dishes and kitchen utensils. This will also help reduce the risk of gastro illnesses.”
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