Drought-busting: 896,000 litres of water from Zealandia ‘lifesaver’ for sportsfields

News from Wellington City Council
Some 896,000 litres of water has been drawn from the old dams at Zealandia in the past week as a drought-busting bid to save Wellington’s important grass sportsfields.

More than 110 tanker-loads of Zealandia water has been sprayed on fields that include Newtown Park, Karori Park, Rugby League Park, Kilbirnie, Alex Moore, Martin Luckie and a number of others around the city.

Wellington City Council’s Sportsfields Operations Manager, Julian Emeny, says the water from the dams has proved a “lifesaver” for the grassed fields.

“We can’t use water from the mains on the fields due to the need for conservation – so this alternative is working well. It’s giving the grass some much needed water to help keep it alive.”

Julian says all the parks that are being sprayed with water have also had a non-toxic wetting agent applied. It is designed to open the pores within the soil. This helps filter the water down from the surface.

The application of the Zealandia water does not mean the city’s sportsfields are ready for a full start to winter sport, however.

The local club football season starts this weekend but the condition of the grass means most fields cannot be used at full capacity – and artificial pitches will be used to host more matches.

Julian says the City Council’s main aim is to get as many matches played as possible but also not to cause serious damage to the grass turfs.

Kilbirnie Park, for example, will remain closed to all sport due to the fragile and dry state of the turf. “We need all users of this park to work with us and keep off it as we do all we can to help it through the drought.”

 

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