Water Supplies

Council provides drinkable water supplies in the Otorohanga and Kawhia communities.

Urban Water Supplies

The water supplies for Otorohanga and Kawhia are 'on demand' systems which are designed to provide adequate, continuous water pressure and quality. 

The Otorohanga water supply draws and treats water from the Waipa River.

The Kawhia water supply draws and treats water from springs in the community.

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 below.

Charges for Water Supply

  • Most residential consumers in Otorohanga and Kawhia pay a Uniform Annual Charge for water supply.
  • Larger commercial or industrial water users pay for water based on the actual water consumed, measured by a water meter.
  • Water consumers outside of the urban communities (including the Rural Water Supply Schemes) pay for water on a metered basis, but some of the Schemes also have a fixed charge component.

Because of the limited capacity of the Kawhia water supply, properties that were first developed or significantly extended after 30 June 2009 will be subject to Peak Season Metered Water Charges.

This will lead to high charges for the metered volume of water used between 20 December and 20 February.

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.

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 Otorohanga 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 our page: Water Conservation.

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 Kawhia Community over the Christmas / New Year period.

Limitations on the water supply in Kawhia means that there will always be some risk of water shortages during this peak demand period unless water is used very carefully.