Ongoing dry weather on Flinders Island is taking its toll on water reserves with water restrictions coming into force in Whitemark.
Stage 2 restrictions will be in place from Wednesday (22 March).
TasWater’s General Manager for Service Delivery Bennie Smith said we have been closely monitoring water sources supplying the new Whitemark water treatment plant since it began operating.
During December, TasWater received communication from the Flinders Council highlighting potential water supply issues that could occur during the summer months and subsequently, with little rain on the island, a significant shortfall in stream flows in the catchment area has occurred.
TasWater has also identified an increase in the usage of water over the past few months as well as leaks in the network that are currently being repaired.
Some of the water used at the Whitemark water treatment plant is for the treatment process itself. This is essential to meet the requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (AWDG) and providing safe drinking water for the community.
Options to bolster supply to residents and visitors to Flinders Island have been identified and these may be used in conjunction with the restrictions to maintain a safe drinking water supply. They include:
1. Diverting water from other sources (including dams) to the Water Treatment Plant
2. Optimising the plant to reuse water that would otherwise flow through to the river
3. Re-commissioning the bore located at Whitemark which will provide additional water that will be treated at the plant. We will look to continue to utilise this solution throughout the summer.
4. Tankering water from the existing Lady Barron plant and having it treated at Whitemark.
The level 2 restrictions impact mainly on the watering of gardens and sporting ovals, limiting watering to certain times.
Conditions are also in place in relation to water use for washing cars with unnecessary hosing down of concrete areas, not permitted at all.
Bennie Smith said everyone can help save water.
“A good place to start is not to run kitchen or bathroom taps unnecessarily, cut back on the length of time you take in the shower and water the garden early in the morning or later in the evening.”
“We will continue to provide the community with regular updates in coming weeks as we investigate supply options.”
“In the meantime residents may notice an increase in vehicle movements in the vicinity of the WTP and we apologise for any inconvenience.”
Details of the restrictions will be displayed around Whitemark, advertised in local newspapers and a letter to householders.
A full list of restrictions can be found on the TasWater website, http://www.taswater.com.au