Council water supplies

Overview

The Council provides a pipe network of treated drinking water to properties in these areas: 

  • Kaikohe/Ngawha
  • Okaihau
  • Kerikeri/Waipapa
  • Kaitaia
  • Opononi/Omapere
  • Kawakawa/Moerewa
  • Rawene/Omanaia
  • Waitangi/Paihia/Opua

You can connect to the Council network if you are within the serviced areas. Water tanks filled by rainwater or private supplier are used on properties not served by the Council’s network.

How is the council working with major water users to reduce their usage?

We meet with multiple high-volume users to discuss current water challenges and how we can work together to reduce demand. High-volume users tend to be schools, laundry facilities and live-in/care facilities. 

Has the council done leak checks on its own infrastructure?

We have a schedule of comprehensive leak detection checks. Our contractor, using technology that ‘hears’ underground leaks, identifies leaks in our infrastructure for repair. Our ongoing leak detection programme covers three categories: private water users with high usage, Council-owned facilities (like pensioner housing, halls and water fountains), and our own infrastructure.

Why do low usage households have to comply with water restrictions?

While the Council undertakes ongoing efforts to maximise water availability and reduce waster wastage, the current water resources remain fragile. Until an additional source is added to the existing supply, there will always be benefit in the community working together to reduce water consumption. Careful use of household water makes a small difference at an individual level but can make a big difference collectively. If water use was habitually reduced, our sources of raw water would recharge more fully during the wetter winter months.

Kaikohe

The whole district is still dealing with the effects of the 2019-2020 drought. We are asking all Kaikohe residents and businesses to continue conserving water wherever possible.

Where does Kaikohe water come from?

Raw water is drawn from two sources, a groundwater supply at Monument Hill and the Wairoro Stream near the Taraire Hills water treatment plant. The Wairoro Stream is Kaikohe’s primary source of raw water, supplying about 70 percent of the town’s water. The Monument Hill water bore is the town’s secondary water source, supplying the remaining 30 percent.

Why is Kaikohe facing a water shortage?

The amount of rainfall this winter and, just as importantly, where that rain fell means the expected recharge of groundwater sources has not occurred. River and groundwater levels are currently lower than usual for this time of year. The sources for Kaikohe water are among the most vulnerable raw water sources we have, and levels have remained worryingly low after a very dry summer and autumn. Because it takes months for the Monument Hill aquifer to recharge, current rainfall is unlikely to lift the level of that source.  While some rainfall (if it falls consistently) will help our surface water supply taken from the Wairoro Stream, too much rain can dirty the stream’s water and slow down clean water production from the Taraire Hills treatment plant.

Opononi-Omapere

The Opononi and Omapere water supply provides water to about 900 people in the two townships. Water is taken from the Waiarohia Dam and the Waiotemarama Stream and treated to national drinking water standards at our Omapere treatment plant before being distributed to users through two reservoirs.

The lack of raw water (from rainfall) over dry periods has been a problem for decades and resource consent conditions from the Northland Regional Council significantly limit the amount of water we can take from the Waiotemarama Stream.

We have been researching a solution and working closely with the Opononi-Omapere Water and Wastewater Liaison Group, which represents local residents and iwi. Installing rainwater tanks would help individual properties but would not provide security for the whole community, especially during dry months. Taking water from the Waimamaku River was ruled out in 2007, to reflect the wishes of Waimamaku residents and iwi after consultation. The best remaining option is a new bore, with an expert hydrogeologist identifying a site on Smoothy Road. This source will be connected to the Opononi-Omapere supply in 2020.