Waiky River low level

Coincidentally, while driving through Paekakariki this evening, Cr Holborow’s voice came on the National Radio’s news bulletin expressing delight that Kapiti was the only council in the region not to introduce water restrictions so far — and it was because of the fabulous water meters she voted for.  Yes, folks, consumption is down 26% all because of these meters.

At least she acknowledged that fixing leaks was the major part of that.

What she didn’t acknowledge, however, was that people may not be keen on using Kapiti’s reticulated water more than absolutely necessary because of how foul it now is.

Here are just some of the comments from the Kapiti Coast Group’s Facebook page on the subject from a couple of weeks ago:

“A thread was put up in November saying how bad it was. When I called KCDC to complain 2 days later, I was told I was the only one to complain.
“Call the council people! Complaining on here does not solve anything!
“That said, it’s so bad now that I tasted it in my pasta yesterday and I gag from the smell in the shower.
“I’m certain when they decided to dump bore water down stream instead of serving it up to us they had no idea that the algae that make this awful taste were this prolific”

“The waikanae water tastes like soil!

“yep it is revolting, very brackish”

“The water is complete rubbish taste terrible smells awful”

“Its so yuk and misty taste like dirt and it gritty”

“Wow so did it actually taste drinkable before? We’ve just moved to the area in nov and noticed the awful taste and figured this is just how it tastes”

“Even boiled it still tastes like mud.”

The above photo taken last Sunday shows a lot of algae drying on a shingle island about 1 km from the Waikanae River mouth because of the low level of the river — and this algae is apparently responsible for the taste and appearance problems.  If this algae is occurring above the waterworks intake, along with extra sludge, it could well account for the above reports.

Would a reservoir in the hills, extra water from which could be released at this time of year to maintain the river level at about what is normal, have avoided this?  Obviously.