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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 20, June 1976

By ANDREW ROBINSON

In 1898, Mr. T. Perham submitted his report with a sketchplan of the proposed headworks and pipe track with aneroid readings.

On paper, he remarked, that the town covered a space of 2 sq. miles "In addition to the business part of the town which is in Waihi Street there are numerous dwellings scattered over a large portion of the above area for the most part on one acre sections and have formed detached outlying settlements round the mine workings and batteries. Recognising the need for a pure water supply for domestic and fire fighting purposes several proposals have been made to obtain an even temporary supply".

For the purposes of this report, Mr. Perham examined:-

1. A scheme to convey water from the Waihi Cos. water race.

2. A proposal to tap the Waihi. Cos. high pressure main with a 3" pipe. This could be only a temporary measure.

3. The head waters of the Waitete stream, but found the water, although permanent, in such small quantity at a sufficient elevation, that to obtain a sufficient pressure, the source was not worth entertaining.

4. A scheme to take water from the condenser of, the Waihi Cos. pumping station - only a low head and insufficient for firefighting.

Mr. Perham continued: After fully considering the different proposals I am of the opinion that there is no other source from which to obtain a permanent and fairly pure supply equal to the Mangatoetoe stream, which was, I understand, reserved for this purpose, and therefore a site for headworks and intake has been selected about ½ mile from the corner of Waihi Street and Rosemont Road. This site, is at the end of the Waihi Co. firewood tram which nearly follows the stream up from the pumping station on the round hill to the North West of the town, and although it is a favourable site, the water is not free from impurity but it can be made so by clearing the creek bed and filtration.

So great has been the consumption of firewood, that the hillsides are almost denuded and consequently no difficulty should rise in coming to an understanding for the removal of a temporary stable and woodcutters huts on the hill above.

The Mangatoetoe stream at the point of intake has a flow of 359,424 gals. per 24 hours. This for a population of 1,500 equals 239 gallons per head per day.

The creek is confined in a narrow, deep, rocky gully, and it will be necessary to construct a high concrete dam. When the creek is cleaned out, a fair sized reservoir will be provided, estimated to contain about 300,000 gallons.