Have your say on our proposed Water Supply Bylaw 07 October 2019 Our Council’s Water Supply Bylaw - Te Ture-ā-Kaunihera mō Te Manawa - needs to be renewed and we want your input into the proposed new Bylaw. This Bylaw exists for the protection and stability of our district’s drinking water supplies from pollution and misuse, as well as providing a stable supply of water for our communities. The proposed bylaw is on our website where you can read it and then lodge a submission online, so go ahead, let us know what you think before 8 November. We operate 11 water supplies across 13 settlements, which must be able to continue meeting basic water supply needs - including high summer demand. The Water Supply Bylaw provides our Council with a mechanism to protect public water supplies, regulate water use when necessary and encourage more efficient use. The proposed Water Supply Bylaw contains provisions that: Enable our Council to protect public health and the security of the district’s public water supplies, which includes backflow prevention; Detail the responsibilities of both our Council and our customers with respect to the public water supplies; Detail the means for the recovery of water supply costs; Outline means to prevent wastage of water; Provide a mechanism for water demand management; and Detail breaches and offences and provide a disputes-resolution procedure. To view the proposed bylaw and statement of proposal click here. Ways we can reduce water consumption and wastage are identified in our Water Demand Strategy which our Council adopted in 2017. This bylaw will help us to put this strategy into action. "The Strategy is focused on encouraging responsible water use by customers, addressing leakage in our Council networks and encouraging households and businesses to take responsibility for leaks in their own systems," says Bruce Hinson our Operations Group Manager. "We’re also going to ramp up a number of initiatives, including community education and provision of information on rainwater storage tanks." The Water Demand Strategy also recommends: Continuing our policy of remitting large water consumption bills as a result of household leaks to those owners who are metered and subject to water pricing. This gives an incentive to use existing meters to identify and rectify leaks. A programme of identifying water efficiency amongst large commercial water users and on Council-owned buildings, with a retrofit of leaky or inefficient fittings, at the cost to the property owner. Installation of network meters on all Council-operated water supplies so as to better identify leaks in the network which we could then fix. The Strategy identifies a total anticipated reduction of existing water use levels of 7 per cent by 2021. The majority of this reduction is driven by better monitoring of leaks in our infrastructure, supported through network metering. "This strategy reflects our Council's aspirations to reduce water consumption and wastage and is reinforced by this proposed bylaw," says Mr Hinson. How to have your say The consultation period for the bylaw will commence from today, 7 October - 8 November 2019. You can let us know what you think about the proposed bylaw by: Submitting online through our consultation portal Completing a hard copy submission form. You can download the form from our website and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org Submission forms and hard copies of the statement of proposal and the proposed bylaw are available from our service centres located in Coromandel, Thames, Whangamata and Whitianga. Alternatively, you can complete a submission form and post it to us at Thames-Coromandel District Council, Private Bag, Thames 3540; or drop it into any of our service centres If you have any questions about this proposal or about how to make a submission, please contact us on 07 868 0200 or email email@example.com. Drinking water standards upgrade Our Council is spending nearly $16 million through our 2018-2028 Long Term Plan to upgrade 10 water treatment facilities across our district. "We're investing significantly to improve the quality of our drinking water supplies, as we take actions after lessons learned from what happened in Havelock North," says our Council's Drinking Water Standards Upgrade Project Manager, Andrew Boden. Whitianga's new water treatment plant at Moewai Rd (pictured right) was our first plant to be upgraded a few months ago, marking an important milestone in our drinking water standards project - Tautiaki Wai Māori. Masons Engineers are now underway with the Tairua upgrade and expect it to be completed early next year, with Pauanui also scheduled to start this spring and finish late 2020. Following on from these two sites, the next town on the upgrade schedule is Coromandel Town, with the remaining treatment plants at Whangamata, Onemana, Matarangi, then Hahei following after. Thames has had a recent upgrade, so doesn’t need any work right now. All of these upgrades will ensure our drinking water quality complies with the current NZ Drinking Water standards.