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Key FactsNgā meka whai tikanga

Facts about Napier’s water. There are 481km of piping in the reticulated network. One billion litres pa of water are delivered to residents. Nine bores. Eight reservoirs. 18 pump stations. Napier’s drinking water supply is not fluoridated but has been chlorinated since 2017.

Key Facts

Napier covers an area of 10,560 hectares and, as of 30 June 2017, has a total population of 61,040 people living in 25,429 dwellings.

Supply Areas

All of the urban area has a reticulated water supply. Some properties in Taradale still use their own private well supply, however, the City's reticulated supply is available.

A small number of rural properties adjacent to the urban reticulation system have connections to the urban supply for domestic use.


We use a system called SCADA - Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition - to measure the amount of water we use. These are our consumption figures for the past year: 15 June 2016 to 11 June 2017.

Details Amount
 Total Annual Consumption  9,615,577m³
 Average Daily Consumption  26,636m³ 
 Peak Day Consumption  43,978m³
 Minimum Day Consumption  14,939m³

Source of Water

Ten bores draw water from the artesian aquifer beneath the City and provide all of Napier's water. The aquifer is part of the Heretaunga Plains underground water system that's administered by the Hawkes Bay Regional Council.

The depth of the wells range from approximately 40 to 100 metres, with the diameters ranging from 200 to 300 millimetres. The aquifer has a static head ranging from approximately 1 to 3 metres above ground level.

Pump Stations

There are 18 pump stations servicing the City with a total of 33 pumps. Ten stations are source stations (i.e. they draw water from the aquifer). The other eight stations are booster stations that pump water between reservoir systems.


The City has 481km of mains ranging in diameter from 40 to 450mm. The older areas of the City are reticulated with cast iron, and in some cases steel pipes, although these are gradually being replaced as they become uneconomical to maintain. The newer areas were reticulated with asbestos cement pipes until 1986, after which uPVC was chosen as the preferred material.


  • The City has two main reservoir systems to store water for peak demands. They are the Thompson Road system and the Enfield Road system.
  • The Thompson Road system serves the Bluff Hill area, and provides back-up supply to the Central Business District and Ahuriri area. The top water level is 99m above mean sea level, with a net capacity of 7,075m³.
  • Water is supplied to residents at the top of Bluff Hill adjacent to Thompson Road reservoir using a variable speed pumping system to meet demand and maintain a constant pressure. This system pumps water directly from the Thompson Road reservoir.
  • The balance of the City is served by the Enfield Road reservoir system, which includes the Taradale Reservoir. This is the principal system for the City supplying the bulk of the population. The top water levels of these two reservoirs are at 51.5 metres above mean sea level and have a combined capacity of 20,240m³ .
  • We have recently constructed a second reservoir next to the existing Taradale reservoir. It has a capacity of 9,200m³. There have been some delays due to construction faults: we anticipate this reservoir will come online by June 2018.  
  • Three small reticulation systems provide water to residents on the hills of Taradale. These systems have small reservoirs and use booster pumps to pump water from the Enfield system. 
  • Two reservoirs serve the Bay View area. Water is supplied to Bay View from a bore in Meeanee and also from a booster pump station that draws water from the Napier water supply system.

Control system

All pump stations and reservoirs are linked to a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) by radio telemetry for centralised control and alarm monitoring.

The PLC monitors the levels of reservoirs and automatically controls pumps as levels vary. If pumps fail or reservoir levels reach low level or overflow conditions, an alarm is generated by the PLC to alert staff. Automatic control of the system by the PLC can be overridden to allow staff to control the pumps if required. After hours, staff can communicate with the PLC using a remote terminal connected to a telephone to check the status of the system, and to control pumps.

Water Quality

The Heretaunga Plains aquifer has some of the best water in the North Island and, until recently, did not require treatment. However, a low level E.coli reading in May 2017 saw the Napier water supply chlorinated as a precautionary measure. In July 2017, an independent drinking water assessor revoked the Council's 'secure bore' status, a decision that ensured chlorination had to continue. We then began extensive work on improving the safety of our bores. Prior to these improvements starting, all of our bore heads were below ground. We raised three of the 10 above ground and improved the bore chambers of others. This work was completed in December 2017. 

We carry out daily bacteriological and chemical tests on our operating bores. We also take regular samples from our reservoirs and pipe network to monitor our supply and ensure it meets the Drinking Water Standards of New Zealand 2008.

Napier has never fluoridated its water supply and there are no plans to.



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