Keyword: #watersupply

Water Supply
Ratonga Wai

Read about the water supply in our district, including information on drinking water, charges for water, rural water supply schemes, understanding your water meter, water connections, water supply issues, water pipe responsibility and water conservation.

'On demand' water supply

Council provides potable water supplies in the Ōtorohanga and Kāwhia communities. The water supplies for Ōtorohanga and Kāwhia are 'on demand' systems that are designed to provide adequate, continuous water pressure and quality. The Ōtorohanga water supply draws and treats water from the Waipā River. The Kāwhia water supply draws and treats water from springs in the community.

Charges for water supply

Ōtorohanga community

Water is charged quarterly, and bills are made up of two parts; a fixed network charge and a volumetric charge. 

Kāwhia community

Water is charged by uniform rating charge in yearly rates or if your property is an extraordinary user, you will be billed twice a year. This bill will be made up of two parts; a fixed network charge and a volumetric charge. 

Rural water supply schemes

On behalf of the scheme members, Council also operates and administers a number of water supply schemes in rural areas. There are four water supply schemes in the District which supply water primarily for agricultural purposes on a 'trickle feed' basis.

These schemes require connected properties to install storage tanks to provide for higher peak water demands. The establishment of these schemes was initially funded by the properties who were served by these schemes. The water users control these schemes, with Council only fulfilling operational and administrative roles. The general terms and conditions for the Rural Water Supply Schemes can be downloaded here.

Water connections

Charges apply when new connections to water supplies are established, or when existing properties are redeveloped in a way that is likely to result in significant increases in water use.

  • For more information on this, please visit our page: Development and Financial Contributions.
  • For information on fees relating to water supply, please visit our page: Water Connection Charges.
  • For Water Services Forms please visit our Forms page.

The Regional Infrastructure Technical Specification (RITS) is a document that sets out how to design and construct transportation, water supply, wastewater, stormwater and landscaping infrastructure in the participating councils’ areas. For Regional Infrastructure Technical Specifications click here.

The Water Services Bylaw places control over urban networks for the supply of drinking water and drainage of sewerage or stormwater, it is collectively termed 'water services.'  Find out more here.

Common water supply issues

Discoloured water

Over long periods, a layer of very fine silt may build up at the bottom of some water supply pipes. A variety of reasons may cause an unusually strong flow of water in these pipes. This silt is mixed with the water and 'dirty water' may be created for a brief period of time.
This discoloured water (usually in a grey shade) is unattractive, but it does not pose a risk to health. If you notice that the water is discoloured and not suitable for your intended use, run the water until it clears. Discoloured water does not permanently stain clothes washed in it.

Changes in water taste

Some people are sensitive to very small variations in the taste of water. These variations may occur in the Council supplies, particularly in Ōtorohanga during the summer when the Waipa River is very low.

Flushing taps

The water provided by Council supplies may dissolve the metal of household pipes and plumbing fittings very slowly - this is a natural process. If the water lies in the pipes or fittings for long periods, this could result in heavy metals such as copper being present in the water. It is therefore recommended that taps be run for two or three seconds to flush out affected water before using it for food preparation or drinking.

Responsibility for water pipes

Council is generally responsible for:

  • a water pipe serving an individual property up to the boundary of that property with council owned land, or
  • up to the point where a pipe splits away from another pipe that serves more than one property

Beyond this point, the pipes and the maintenance of these pipes become the responsibility of the property owner(s) through which they pass.

Need for water conservation

Council's water supplies have all got relatively limited supply capacity. In the interests of good environmental management, measures to reduce water use are encouraged, and in some cases required. For details on how you can reduce water consumption, please visit the water conservation page.

Formal restrictions of the use of water for non-essential purposes may be imposed by Council at times of peak demand. These restrictions are routinely applied in the Kāwhia Community over the Christmas / New Year period. Limitations on the water supply in Kāwhia means that there will always be some risk of water shortages during this peak demand period unless water is used very carefully.

Water services bylaw

This bylaw places control over urban networks for the supply of drinking water and drainage of sewerage or stormwater, it is collectively termed 'water services.'

Bylaw provisions

Provisions of the bylaw include:

  • Definition of discharges to the public sewer or stormwater systems that may be considered unacceptable
  • Definition of the boundaries between private and public water services, and the responsibilities associated with each
  • Rules relating to the connection of private properties to the public water services network
  • Rules to ensure that public water services are protected against damage

This bylaw was last reviewed in 2013.

View Water Services Bylaw

Read text aloud