Current Water Restrictions: None - but please continue to use water wisely.

Water supply is the most critical infrastructure service provided by the South Taranaki District Council. It is essential for the health of the population, and is required in large volumes to sustain existing domestic, agricultural and industrial customers. Additional water is also needed for future economic growth.

The District’s water supplies provide an average of 43,000 cubic meters of drinking water each day to 8 urban and 5 rural areas. Water is available twenty four hours a day seven days a week and requires treatment to meet the quality standards set by the government.

To deliver water supply services to the district we have:

  • 12 water treatment facilities
  • 11 major reservoirs and
  • 660 km of water mains

Water – our No. 1 Priority

Since 2004  the Council has been planning a major upgrade of the district’s 13 water supplies. This culminated in a comprehensive 10-year programme of work which began in 2006. The reasons for the major infrastructural programme were fourfold:

  • The need to replace or upgrade aging and deteriorating infrastructure – much of the district’s water infrastructure is old and is at the end of its useful life.
  • Improve reliability of supply to enable South Taranaki to better cope with summer droughts.
  • Meet new Drinking Water Standards set by central government – this is a key reason why we have to upgrade our water treatment plants.
  • Meet growing demand while also provide for future economic growth.

Planned works in the programme include:

  • Finding new sources of water
  • Building and upgrading water treatment plants
  • Replacing and building additional piping
  • Building additional storage facilities
  • Interconnecting water schemes
  • Promoting water conservation
  • Leak detection programme to identify leaks in the Council’s reticulation network and on private property
  • Intensifying efforts to monitor water usage and work with consumers to eliminate wastage
  • Replacing old and inaccurate water meters


Another milestone in upgrading South Taranaki’s water infrastructure was achieved in March 2010 when Mayor Ross Dunlop officially opened the new $19m Kapuni water treatment facility.

The new facility, which was built more than $1 million under budget, comprises a $12 million water treatment plant, a new intake and pipeline from Kapuni Stream to the treatment plant ($3.3m); a new bore ($1.2m) and two reservoirs which hold 45000 cubic metres each ($3.4m).

The new treatment plant is the operational base for all South Taranaki water treatment staff and supplies water to Normanby, Hawera, Ohawe and Okaiawa. It has the capacity to treat 13,000 cubic metres of water a day – which is 4,000 cubic metres more than the old plant.

The additional capacity of the new plant will reduce the frequency of future water restrictions although in very dry conditions restrictions may still be required.

The big improvement will be in terms of water quality. The plant has a membrane filtration system. The membranes have microscopic holes in them which are only one thousandth of a millimetre in size and when water is pumped through them anything larger than this is removed. This means that bacteria, cryptosporidium, giardia and some viruses are removed together with any other coagulated solids in the water.

The recently completed Kapuni facility comes on top of a number of water infrastructure projects that have been underway throughout the district including; replacement of water mains ($3m); new reservoirs at Eltham and Inaha ($3.1m); a new clarifier at Opunake ($500,000) and new water meters in Waimate West, Inaha and Eltham ($2.2m).

Over the next 5 years improvements at all the district’s remaining water treatment plants will be made to ensure they meet the Governments Drinking Water Standards. Patea is next on the list with construction of a new water treatment plant starting in 2011.