“At approximately 9.30am we were alerted to the failure of a pump at the two-mile pump station,’ QLDC 3 waters manager Gerry Essenberg said.
A single pump failure would not normally cause any issues, however the second pump was being repaired and the third ‘back-up’ pump was in the process of being installed but had not been commissioned.
“The result was that the supply which services the Queenstown CBD, Lake Esplanade, Gorge Road, lower Queenstown Hill through to Goldfields had fallen to 13 percent capacity by 11am,” Mr Essenberg said.
At 12.30pm council contractors were able to restore one of the pumps and by 1pm the reservoir was starting to fill again.
“We hope to have the new pump installed and pumping within the next few hours which will give us two pumps up and running again. The motor of the third pump will be removed tomorrow (Thursday) and sent for repair,” Mr Essenberg said.
Council engineers had not anticipated losing two pumps at the same time, given pumps were inspected three times a week, but had planned for it.
“That’s exactly why we are installing a third pump to give us some redundancy if the unexpected occurs,” Mr Essenberg said.
Meanwhile it remained imperative that water conservation continued throughout the remainder of today (Wednesday) and through to midday tomorrow to allow the reservoir to replenish.
A communications campaign today had included getting the message to businesses, schools, hotels and residents with a notable reduction in consumption resulting.
“We are extremely grateful to the affected community for contributing to halving the normal rate of consumption but we are not quite out of the woods,” he said.
With both pumps operating and water conservation continuing into tomorrow, Mr Essenberg was comfortable the reservoir would reach its normal level. The affected area could be viewed on the council website www.qldc.govt.nz , together with tips for conserving water.
“In particular we are asking that no-one in the area uses irrigation or any other external use of water and that people and businesses and visitors conserve in kitchens, laundries and bathrooms until tomorrow afternoon,” he said.
Council engineers would review the cause of the pump failure.
For further information please contact Gerry Essenberg 027 224 6597