Dry drives restrictions
Our district is experiencing very dry conditions and with a long, dry summer period predicted Matamata-Piako District Council has introduced water and fire restrictions.
The entire Thames Valley area (including Matamata-Piako, Hauraki and Thames Coromandel districts) is now in a restricted fire season which means permits are required to light any fire in the open air.
Permits can be arranged at council offices but at this stage, it is unlikely that any permits will be issued.
‘‘We ask the community to not light fires as the risk of these getting out of control is very high in this dry weather,’’ said deputy rural fire officer Mike van Bysterveldt.
‘‘Fires in incinerators are permitted, however they should not be left unattended. If you do see smoke or a fire dial 111,’’ said Mr van Bysterveldt said.
As well as fire danger, the dry spell has put considerable pressure on water supplies.
Council’s group manager service delivery Fiona Vessey said the increased demand for water had forced council to increase water restrictions to level two.
‘‘ Water usage has been very high over the last couple of weeks; we hope that people can work towards conserving water now to avoid further restrictions.’’
Level two water restrictions mean using hoses and sprinklers is restricted to alternate days.
If you live at an even street number you can water on even dates (e.g. 24 Bloggs St, can water on February 12, 14, 16, 18 etc), and if you live at an odd street number you can water on uneven dates (e.g. 23 Bloggs St can water on February 13, 15, 17, 19 etc).
The council asks people to conserve water wherever possible to help reduce the possibility of further restrictions.
Colour chaos: Creativity won the day at the annual Matamata College swimming sports on Friday with students dressed up as everything from Thomas the Tank Engine to the Pope. Students took to the water in competitive events and relays, while others cheered them on dressed in their house colours. Nicola Stewart was there to check out the action.
More photos p13