Fonterra gift of water saves Mayfield swimmers

Fonterra's Stu Macpherson and Mayfield pool president Gerald Jacobson supervise the filling of the community pool. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Fonterra has come to the aid of the Mayfield community pool, carting 150,000 litres of water last week to fill it for swimmers.

The pool had to be emptied just before Christmas so leaks at the bottom could be fixed, but there was no water available from the community supply when it came to refilling it.

Mayfield has been on level three water restrictions since December 15, with hand-held hosing only between 6pm and midnight. Properties on the southeast side of Arundel Rakaia Gorge Road can hose on even dates and properties on the northwest on odd dates.

The Ashburton District Council, which operates the community water supply, was concerned about the amount of water left in the Mayfield supply, which was at its lowest level since 2016.

Mayfield pool committee president Gerald Jacobson said the pool was filled earlier in the summer and opened for business early December. But it had to be emptied so the leaks could be repaired.

Luckily the closure co-incided with rainy weather, not usually suitable for swimming.

He said a community member suggested approaching milk processing company Fonterra for help and the co-op responded by sending five tanker-loads of water from its Clandeboye plant. Each tanker trip moved 30,000 litres.

Mr Jacobson said Fonterra had saved the day for pool users; there were about 60 seasonal key-holders who used the 22m pool as well as day-users. The water is currently 18 degrees and warming.

“It took a while to fix the leaks. We needed the bottom of the pool to be dry and it kept raining and it slowed things down.”

The pool’s operating expenses are largely covered by a grant from council, which provides funds for pool chemicals and water testing. A big team of volunteers take turns testing the water twice a day.

Mr Jacobson said the locals were enthusiastic about keeping the pool running for the community, though it might need major attention in the future. The pool was built in the 1960s.

Other work this summer on a wooden fence and the roof of the changing rooms is being funded by the Lion Foundation.


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