Campground water supplies upgraded

Turning the dirt . . . Earth works have begun to sow the new grass at the Waitaki District Council’s Falstone Creek camping ground. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Waitaki District Council contractors have been under the pump upgrading the Waitaki Lakes camping grounds drinking water supply.

Whitestone Contracting has installed 5km of pipeline to supply the Parsons Rock, Loch Laird and Wildlife Reserve sites, in the Otematata area, with potable drinking water.

The $500,000 project, funded through the Three Waters stimulus fund, supplied four of the council’s six camping grounds with drinking water.

Boat Harbour already had drinking water installed.

Council recreation manager Lindsay Hyde said his team was thrilled to have drinking water available for the start of the season next weekend.

‘‘The campgrounds are a much-enjoyed destination for many from Waitaki and we are happy we can expand on the services provided to holiday makers,’’ Mr Hyde said.

Falstone Creek and Sailors Cutting were yet to have drinking water upgrades, and Mr Hyde said the council was investigating water treatment options that suited for both sites.

However, Falstone Creek has received a different upgrade, with earthworks starting for the sowing of new grass.

Sowing is expected to begin later this month and when the soil is over 8degC, and campers can return to their usual sites in about six to eight weeks.

Before last season, a large number of pine trees were removed to allow more of the site to be used, but it increased the growth in other unwanted areas, Mr Hyde said.

‘‘Last summer a lot of weeds grew in this area that aren’t desirable, so the re-seeding of grass in this area will allow for a better presentation of this area, which should be a winwin for campers.’’

The council planned to host a community planting day at Falstone Creek before Labour Weekend.

While none of the campgrounds were sold out as of Tuesday, they were ‘‘selling strongly’’ and Mr Hyde looked forward to another popular season.

The camping season starts next Saturday and concludes in May next year.