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Drinking water projects

We're committed to improving our water network. We had allocated $31.9 million to spend on water over the next decade, but in our Annual Plan 2019/20 we propose to bring this work forward - and spend an additional $7.8 million on our water infrastructure.

Over the next four years we're spending more than $30m, including more than $9m in this financial year (2019/20) to improve our water. Read detailed information about our drinking water, including dirty water and chlorination, here.

Some of these projects include:

Developing new bores

This is our core water project that all other water projects feed off and we're currently assessing potential new locations. Ideally we want sites that are low in manganese. If this isn't possible, we'll look at special sand filters to remove the manganese before water is transferred from our treatment plant to our reservoirs.

Moving to gravity-fed system

We'll be working on moving to a gravity-fed water network. This will keep water pressure and direction consistent, reducing the chances of biofilm and manganese dioxide being dislodged from the side of pipes.


We have a number of research projects underway to inform our decision making. Part of this involves working with specialists in Canada around manganese and the relationship to dirty water. This work in addition to our recently completed Water Supply Model will help us model ways to reduce dirty water incidents until we are able to source water that is very low in manganese.

Chlorine free?

As a result of the Havelock North enquiry in 2017, chlorine was added to our water due to the risks in our water network. The ministry of Health is proposing that all water networks in New Zealand contain a disinfectant residual such as chlorine that provides a barrier against harmful bacteria. However, until we can demonstrate an alternative safe option,then chlorine needs to remain. We're currently exploring options and costs of moving to a safe chlorine-free network.

New water treatment plant

We'll develop two new water treatment plants at the new bore field sites to meet New Zealand Drinking Water Standards and anticipated changes in the regulations for safe drinking water.

Replacement of Enfield reservoir

We are replacing the existing ageing Enfield water reservoir with a new reservoir (location to be confirmed). We have undertaken preliminary site selection work, which has involved analysing the network and the potential impact on service levels and impacts on community. The sites that have been identified have been assessed to determine which is the most effective and has least impact on the community. We have not yet identified a preferred site. 

Planned Start Date: Already underway
Construction Date: Dec 2020
Budget: $11.5M

Awatoto trunk main extension

We’re extending the existing bulk supply main from Awatoto bores to the new reservoir on Napier Hill. This work is being modelled in conjunction with the developments of Enfield reservoir and the new borefields. 

Planned Start Date: Already underway
Construction Date: Dec 2020
Project Budget: $3.5M

New reservoir Western Hills

We are introducing a new reservoir in the western hills to help meet our water needs during high demand periods, provide for firefighting requirements and meet increased demand due to population growth. Design work on the reservoir is currently being developed.

Planned Start Date: Nov 2019
Construction Date: Developer Driven
Project Budget: $2M


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