Picture your bathtub filled with water. Now picture it in the world’s largest warehouse next to another 82 million water-filled bathtubs.
That is how much water is estimated to have leaked out of Christchurch’s drinking water pipes in the last financial year.
In 2020-21 the city, excluding Banks Peninsula, collectively used 57.1 billion litres of water. From this, the council estimates about 13.1b, or 23 per cent, was lost to leakage.
Pipe renewals have been postponed in recent years due to post-quake work and wellhead repairs in a bid to remove chlorine, the council said.
The new water loss data comes as the Government tries to push on with controversial water infrastructure reforms – which, if they go ahead, would take control of the pipes, reservoirs and other infrastructure away from councils and give it to large independent regional entities.
The council’s water boss, Helen Beaumont, said the council was hitting a point now where different pipe materials, installed at different times, were reaching the end of their usable life. A significant number of pipes would require renewal over a short period, she said.
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