skip to main content

I want to...

Current filter:


Our water networkTō tātau kōtuinga wai

Napier’s 481km reticulated water network delivers almost 1 billion litres of water to Napier’s homes and businesses annually. Water is drawn up from an underground aquifer through nine bores into eight reservoirs that supply the network with the help of 18 pump stations.

General Information

Hand under running water.

We provide a water supply system for the supply of potable water as well as for fire-fighting purposes. Water is drawn from the Heretaunga Plains artesian aquifer and reticulated to the Napier urban area and to Bay View. While the Heretaunga Plains aquifer is the source of high quality water, NCC adopted Ministry of Health and Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s recommendations to continue with chlorination of our water supply.

The Napier water supply system consists of 481km of mains, 10 reservoirs and nine booster pump stations. Each month 27 residential zones, sevens bores which meet the drinking-water standards and all 10 reservoirs are sampled and tested by an IANZ-accredited laboratory to ensure your drinking water is safe.

A total of 10.03 million cubic metres of water was distributed for the year ending 30 June 2018.

Napier City is primarily urban with 93% of the citizens living within the urban area. Water is reticulated to the Napier and Bay View urban areas. A small number of rural properties adjacent to the urban reticulation system are connected to this supply for domestic use.

The remainder of the rural area is not forgotten. Council considers all water supply proposals from rural residents, providing assistance and, where appropriate, funding.

Council runs a water conservation programme during the summer months to raise awareness and promote the efficient use of water.

Napier's water journey from aquifer to tap

We draw our town water supply from an aquifer deep underground. This water may be high quality, but before we can drink it, we need to transport the water up through bores, into our reservoirs, and through our pipe network to the taps in our homes and businesses.

This pathway from aquifer to tap is where the risk factors of contamination lie — in the bores, the 10 reservoirs on seven
different sites, and the 481km of pipes that transport water around Napier. At each stage we need multiple barriers in place to deliver safe drinking water.

We’ve learned a lot about our aquifer in the last year. In some bores the water is just two years old. So the old thinking that water was 40 to 70 years old is no longer valid. We also know there are seasonal variations in water age, and we're continually carrying out testing to further understand such trends. Take a look at the diagram below to learn more about how you get the water to your home.

Proudly Napier Page 3 September 18 815 x 676

Water History

Thompson Tower project completed May 2008.Work commenced on a reticulated water supply in the 19th century and water was sourced from bores in the Central Business District. One of the effects of the 1931 Napier earthquake is the different soil properties within Napier City , depending on whether or not an area was submerged prior to the earthquake. The performance of certain materials is influenced by the different soil properties throughout Napier City.

The Tutaekuri River was diverted prior to the earthquake to reclaim Napier South and up to 1.2 metres of river silt was deposited to the east of Georges Drive. Metallic pipes and fittings that have subsequently been installed in the river silt are less prone to corrosion than similar pipes that have been installed in the old seabed to the west of Georges Drive.

A period of reconstruction, interrupted by the two wars of 1939-45 and Korea followed the earthquake. Though the latter had the effect of causing a boom in development, the former also had an effect on the supply of materials, noticeably in the poor quality of cast iron pipe, a problem that has become evident in recent years.

In 1968, Taradale Borough was amalgamated with Napier City and the reticulation of Taradale commenced, including a trunk main along Taradale Road, to connect to the main system. The amalgamation with Taradale also created the opportunity to utilise the high quality groundwater source in Taradale. The first public water supply well in Taradale was constructed in the early 1970's, and six more wells have been completed since. Lower water quality wells closer to Napier City have progressively been decommissioned; culminating with the decommissioning of the McLean Park bores in 1998. To improve security of supply to the city the Coverdale Well, located in the fringe zone between the good and poor quality areas, has been retained.

Bay View was amalgamated with Napier in 1989. A separate bulk water supply from the newly constructed Tannery Road bore to Bay View was installed by the HB County Council in 1988 to replace the Esk river bore, and this remained the sole supply to Bay View until 1998, when a second main was constructed from Westshore. The reticulation in Bay View was constructed during the 1960's.

A pumping main from Taradale to Hyderabad Road with a diameter of 450mm was completed in 1995 for the bulk transfer of water from Taradale to the rest of Napier.

Require a water permit?

In accordance with the provisions of the ‘Fire Hydrant Use Policy’, and subject to below conditions, the Napier City Council (the Council) grants a ‘Permit to Take Water’ for a discretionary activity to take water from Council’s owned and operated fire hydrants as listed below:

  • Taradale
  • Onekawa
  • Napier CBD
  • Napier South
  • Westshore

The permit is granted for One calendar year.

* Please note once dedicated Water Take Site is commissioned and operational, Permit to Take Water from fire hydrants will expire. There is     going to be a transition period and you will be notified beforehand on this change.

For more information please contact


Napier City Council - Copyright © 2019 Napier City Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Napier City Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Napier City Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Napier City Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Napier City Council - / +64 6 835 7579 /