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River water discoloured following discharge above Huka Falls

Published: 2019-02-19

Waikato Regional Council is advising people immediately downstream of Huka Falls to be cautious about using river water following a discharge which has caused brown discolouration.

The council is working with Contact Energy to establish the circumstances around the incident.

However, initial reports suggest the wall of a holding pond failed late this morning (Tuesday, 19 February) and its contents entered a tributary that leads to the Waikato River upstream of Huka Falls.

Taupō-based regional council staff have this afternoon collected water samples for testing, with incident response staff also now at the scene.

The Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board has been advised of the incident, and Taupō District Council staff have also collected samples.

Council staff are attempting to contact water take consent holders immediately downstream of Huka Falls to alert them to the incident. In the meantime, caution is advised for landowners and businesses operating downstream.

Taupō District Council has shut off its Centennial Drive water supply intake and is asking users of that scheme to conserve water.

The scheme supplies Centennial Drive and Rakaunui Road users, as well as the local golf club and the pool at the Top Ten Holiday Park. The district council has also cut supply of raw water to Owen Delaney Park, AC Baths, Tenon and Laminex in the interests of conserving water.

The district council is are working on providing an alternative treated water supply from the Taupō town scheme to continue to provide treated water to those that need it.