Taupō wastewater spill stopped, residents urged not to flush toilets

updated By Jessica Tyson
Major water main break on the lakefront. Photo source: Taupō District Council.

Residents and visitors to Taupō are being urged not to flush their toilets or use any unnecessary water following a water main and wastewater pipe break on Lake Terrace yesterday afternoon.

The water main broke just after 2pm causing a large washout on the lakefront. About an hour later the footpath collapsed and took out a wastewater pipe causing an unknown quantity of wastewater to enter the lake.

“We have a temporary fix in place but that is likely to come under pressure during our usual wastewater peak at about 9am,” the Taupō District Council said in a post on their Facebook page this morning.

Chief executive Gareth Green says the quality of drinking water in Taupō has not been affected by the wastewater overflow. 

“However, we still need people to conserve water and minimise the impact on wastewater flows by not flushing toilets unless absolutely necessary, and not taking baths and doing laundry tonight,” he said.

The council also says they are not recommending schools to close just to minimise flushing.

Wastewater restriction area

The majority of the Taupō township is affected, except for Acacia Bay. See the maps below for the areas affected.

The council wants to minimise the amount of waste entering the wastewater system as much as possible especially during peak times which are between 8.30am to 10.30am and 8pm and 9pm.

"We are asking people to minimise the amount of water entering the wastewater system as much as possible."

Some simple tips and tricks to help reduce water use are:

  • Toilet flushing - If it's yellow, let it mellow, flush only during off-peak periods.
  • Showers, baths – skip or take a short shower, or wash off-peak. Visit the AC Baths for a shower. We are offering free entry at the AC Baths for showering until further notice.
  • Laundry – skip, minimise, or do off-peak.
  • Dishwashing – minimise, do off-peak, wash in a bucket and dispose of grey water to garden if you can.
  • Go to a friends house within the non-affected area to do washing, shower, etc. You could add some fun stuff around this such as having dinner together.

Maps of areas affected:

Te Ao reporter Kereama Wright will have more on this story tonight at 6.30pm.