Major Gisborne water leak fixed

The site of the water main leak in Gisborne. - Photo: Facebook / Gisborne District Council

The major water leak in Gisborne was caused by a faulty $50 seal on a pipe, mayor Meng Foon says.

Gisborne District Council revealed yesterday just 24 hours of water was left in its reservoir storage after the leak was discovered in a pipe.

The leak prompted an urgent plea to residents conserve water and industrial users have been told to put their water shortage contingency plans in place.

Contractors worked through the night at the site of the leak at Makaraka where a seal on a water main had deteriorated.

Mr Foon said the leak was fixed and Fulton Hogan workers completed welding on the pipe.

He said the the cause had been a relatively cheap rubber ring that needed replacing.

"I bet the job will cost tens of thousands because of the man-hours and machinery that are involved.

"It's always a fuse or a rat gnawing at something and this time it's a rubber ring that had deteriorated.

"I wouldn't say it was $5 but in context of the whole job it's probably about a $50 ring."

The pipe would now be be cleared and water quality tests carried out.

"Once we get the all clear we'll be pumping up at our reservoirs but in the mean time we're still asking the community to conserve water."

A backup plant is taking water from the Waipaoa River though the council said it would not be enough to top up the reservoirs at the usual rate so conserving water would be necessary for the next few days.