Otama Rural Water Scheme
The scheme supplies water to 253 connections on 210 farms in the Gore District.
There is 239km of pipeline. The water comes from a bore next to the Mataura River, at the site of the Pyramid Bridge.
Numerous homes, as well as two schools and a marae, use the water. Historically, the water was untreated as the scheme was originally only for stock water.
If you want to apply for a connection to the scheme you can apply online or phone our 3 Waters team on 209-0330.
Chlorination of scheme
The decision to chlorinate was made after a catchment assessment found there was a high risk of microbiological contamination to the scheme’s water source at the Pyramid Well. Chlorination of the scheme protects against this risk.
Chlorination is used safely all over the world for around 120 years. It keeps millions of people – including most of New Zealand – safe from waterborne illness. We have been using chlorine in the Gore and Mataura water supplies for many years.
The Council presently manages the scheme in conjunction with the Otama rural water scheme committee. Users have voted to take over the ownership and management of this scheme. This process is ongoing.
- A weekly water sample is taken from the Pyramid Pump Station.
- The water sample is analysed for E-coli at the Watercare Laboratory, in Invercargill. This process takes approximately 24 hours.
- If there is E-coli present in the sample taken, the laboratory is required to notify us immediately. The Council then issues a boil water notice.
- No – even though the water in the scheme is now treated, it is not continuously monitored and the levels of chlorination will vary at different points on the scheme.
- With water samples collected only weekly it takes 24 hours to get the test results. This means there is a risk E-coli could be in the water supply for a number of days before we are aware of it.
- A boil water notice is issued to the scheme users as a precaution to help prevent any user becoming ill from the E-coli in the water.
- A boil water notice means all water intended to be used for cooking or drinking should be boiled for at least one minute before use.
- We take daily water samples at the site until the results show E-coli is absent in the water supply.
- The boil water notice can be lifted after three consecutive daily tests show an absence of E-coli.
- We notify scheme users when the boil water notice is activated and when it is lifted using the following channels:
- We send out an email and text alert to scheme users. This goes to all users who are registered on our scheme alert database.
- An urgent notification is aired on Hokonui Gold 92.4 and CaveFM 106.4 radio stations.
- A public notice is placed in the Ensign newspaper.
- We have an urgent alert on the home page of our website and display information on our water and public notices page of our website
- We post a notice and updates on our Facebook page.
- After a boil water notice is lifted, there is still the potential for E-coli to be present in your water tanks. Below are some safe chemicals that can be added to the water to remove any E-coli and still be safe enough to drink.
- HTH tablets – These are small tablets that can be added to the tank to add chlorine to the water to help kill E-coli. It is commonly used in swimming pools.
- Talk to your local hardware stores or stock firms about a product called GeoSil150. This product can be added to the tank water to kill the E-coli.