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Published 25/06/2018

Keeping water flowing when an earthquake stops the taps

Today we hosted a special event at Johnsonville Park, Truscott Ave, to open the first of 22 community water stations which form the foundation of our above ground emergency water supply network.

The Minister of Civil Defence, Hon Kris Faafoi, mayors and representatives from the four councils, (Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council and Porirua City Council) were in attendance to help open the first of the community water stations, and learn more about how they'll operate.

Wellington's drinking water supply network is vulnerable. Underground pipes and reservoirs could be badly damaged in a significant earthquake and as a result some suburbs could be without drinking water for more than 100 days.

Over the past 12 months we have been working with central and local government to develop an above ground emergency water network that will supply the more than 400,000 people across Wellington from day eight following a disaster.

22 emergency water source sites have been identified across the Wellington region and include:

• 12 sites that will take water from local rivers and streams.
• 9 new groundwater bore sites
• Desalination units will be transported into areas with no access to bores or rivers and streams

Once the water has been extracted from a bore, stream and/or river it passes through a community water station, where it is treated and made safe.

Each community water station will have a 20,000 litre emergency water bladder, which act as a reservoir, and are filled with safe water once it has been treated by the community water station.

Utes, trailers, and vans will be the ‘pipes’ in the emergency water network. Water collection points will be set up in locations like schools, parks, and roadsides. The aim is to make water collection points easily accessible from every home. Locations will be advised through official information channels following the emergency.

It’s important to remember that following a major earthquake, the first thing people rely on is themselves and their families, so storing water is a must for every household.

You should have 20 litres of stored water for every person, every day, for at least seven days. That’s 560 litres for a four-person household. You may need to store more if you have unwell people, or small children in your home.

200 litre tanks (which are easy to install) can be purchased from your local council for $105.

For more information about the above ground emergency water network check out the Emergency Water section.

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