Lifestyle lots on Gracefarm are required to install two, 20 cubic meter water reservoir when a house is built for domestic use and to mitigate rapid water runoff during heavy rain.
Water is also reticulated to each site from a community water supply scheme. This spring water is good quality with an abundant supply for garden irrigation, domestic or swimming pool use. Here is an article on the scheme.
The Association was formed in 2006 and following a court order dated 8th March 2007 the water supply easements and water use consent (from ARC) were vested in the association. Ray and Pam Hollis, as original owners of the Gracefarm land, are shareholders in the Association. Ray Hollis is currently a Director of the company. In time, Ray and Pam's shareholding will be transferred to Gracefarm Incorporated Society.
The water supply was originally installed in 1964 by the Albertland Co-operative Dairy Company that operated a dairy factory at Te Hana. To quote from a news paper article in the Lower North Weekly news of 3rd June 1964 “The Albertland Co-op at Te Hana has succeeded in providing an ample supply of water for factory use by putting down a bore to a depth of 750 feet. It is producing water at the rate of two million gallons per week. (53 cubic metres an hour) The company had already two bores about three miles (north) of the factory. One of these produces 6000 gallons (27 cubic metres) per hour the other 2000 gallons (9 cubic metres) per hour. The bores are situated (on what was) Vipond’s farm (subsequently Whitmore Properties Ltd and from 2007, Honk Farms Ltd). “Water is the life line of the butter factory” said the factory manager, Mr Dennis (It still is a life line to the community) ‘It was decided to put down a third bore as there was too much at stake with the smaller bores if anything happened to them’ After a failed attempt with a six inch bore at 600 feet, ( same depth as the original bores) and another yielding only a small flow the geologist was ‘not to hopeful’ but they decided to drill down anther 200 feet. At 700 feet the drill got into good water bearing country of Waitemata sandstone series. At 750 feet all the circulating water was lost, which indicated an excellent flow. The bore was then tested and proved to be exceptional. The water level was only 28 feet from the surface. It was tested on an air lift compressor pump system and registered a flow at 20,000 gallons per hour (90 cubic metres) and calculations showed up to 30,000 gallons per hour (135 cubic metres) could be pumped.
Mr Len Brown, principal of Brown Bros of
It was interesting to note that the water temperature is slightly warm at 70 degree. This is a perfect swimming pool temperature. It is possible that if the bore was deeper the temperature would be even higher. The temperature of the other bores is 62 degree.
“The company is delighted with the result” said Mr Dennis; “future water supply for many years is assured” The two original bores are not affected in any way by the new bore.
Changes of ownership:
In 1985 the dairy factory sold the farm on which the bores are located to Whitmore Properties Ltd. Easements were created over the land to secure access to the water. One of the bores (the smaller one of the three) was left in the ownership of the land owner, Whitmore Properties Ltd, for a farm supply.
In 1987 the Dairy Company at Te Hana ceased operation and the water rights were transferred to Port Berries Processors Ltd, a food processing business operating from the old dairy company buildings.
Subsequently the ownership was transferred to Project Holdings Ltd who took ownership of the dairy company buildings including a number of dairy company houses in Te Hana. The whole village, some 5km south of the bores were dependent on this water supply which was delivered to Te Hana by gravity, from the bore site, through a 480 mm concrete pipe. The water was stored in a large tank beneath one of the dairy company buildings. To supply the houses the water was pumped to a tank on a hill from where it was gravity fed back to the houses.
Fire at Te Hana;
In 2005 there was a fire in the main dairy company building which destroying the electrical system that operated the pump that delivered the water to the tank for the residential supply. This precipitated a review of domestic water supply for Te Hana residents. Although not legally bound, the Rodney District Council became involved and after investigating alternatives decided to reticulate treated water to Te Hana from the Wellsford town supply. This water comes from the
From the beginning of this supply, farmers on the path of the supply line between the bores and Te Hana had arrangements, firstly with the dairy factory and then with subsequent owners to use the water for farm and or domestic purposes. When the decision was made by the Council to reticulate water from Wellsford to Te Hana the farmers and land owners who had become dependent on this water saw that the supply may cease with no one having a commitment to pay for pumping and maintenance.
So, A Community Water Supply Association was constituted (under the companies act 1993) commencing with seven shareholders. They gained agreement to purchase the infrastructure from Project holdings Ltd but the water supply easements were owned by Port Berries Processors Ltd, a company that was bankrupt and de registered. Eventually the high court granted an order to transfer the easements to the North Albertland Community water Supply Association Ltd. At that stage it was straight forward obtaining a transfer of the water use consents from the ARC.
Water Use Consent:
These were renewed on 23rd September 2009 for a water take of 64,000 cubic metres/year (average 175 m3 per day) which may be reviewed in June 2014. Consents were administered, at the time, by the Auckland Regional Council (ARC), now Auckland Council.
Current use averages 70m3/day.
Two directors manage the day to day operations. Shareholder’s willingly help in the event of repairs or upgrade. The supply now only extends about 4 km from the bore site. Water is no longer reticulated to Te Hana.
The original pipe line along SH1 was partly buried under the road. Since the upgrade of SH1 and the construction of a passing lane in 2008/09, a dual 90mm PVC pipe replaces the old 480mm concrete pipe which now runs parallel to the highway through shareholders properties.
As at 2011, water to each shareholder is metered and fees are charged on usage at 50 cents per cubic metre plus gst plus an annual fixed charge of $350 per annum