Drinking water

A chrome tap with running water

Whanganui District Council provides the city’s residents with a continuous supply of water at acceptable volume, pressure and quality, as well as a fire-fighting capacity in defined areas.

Water used in Whanganui’s urban area comes from four artesian bores – three at Kai Iwi and one at Aramoho.

Watch our video about the water supply 

An auxiliary bore is also available at the Westmere water facility on State Highway 3 – three large reservoirs, each holding 23,000 cubic metres of water, provide the bulk of supply storage. Some auxiliary storage is also available at Bastia Hill and Aramoho.

After treatment, water is supplied to the city and distributed to consumers through the reticulation network using pump stations in certain areas to maintain the desired pressure and flow.

Separate rural schemes are operated at Fordell, Mowhanau, Westmere and Maxwell. Each scheme has its own committee.

Services provided to urban consumers

  • Supply is available to all serviced properties 99% of the time.
  • Flow at point of supply generally exceeds 15 litres per minute.
  • Pressure at point of supply generally ranges from 20m to 60m static head.
  • Water is chlorinated and/or ozonised and meets New Zealand Drinking Water Standards 2005 (revised 2008).
  • Information is available on request to assist with locating pipes electronically through BeforeUDig. Onsite service / toby locations are also available on request within five working days (for water supply only).
  • Ongoing maintenance and operation of the network and facilities ensures functionality and availability of service.
  • Quality, quantity and pressure complaints and/or enquiries are responded to within 24 hours.
  • Leaks are repaired within five working days.

Services provided to rural users vary between schemes. New domestic connections will be installed within eight working days of receipt of the connection fee.

Discoloured tap water

Discoloured tap water can be caused by repair or renewal work on pipes dislodging silt. It can also be caused by water main flushing, which councils carry out as scheduled maintenance to flush out any sediment that may have built up in the network.

If your water is discoloured, run the OUTSIDE tap for 10 minutes to see if it clears. If it doesn't clear, please report it to the council on our 24-hour phone line: (06) 349-0001.

Discoloured water is safe but may stain clothes, so we would recommend waiting until the water is clear before putting on a load of laundry.

Use of sprinklers

There are no restrictions on the use of automatic garden sprinklers. Hand-held hoses can also be used at any time. 

Ministry of Health public notice

Whanganui’s drinking water is classified as plumbosolvent, meaning some plumbing fittings have the potential to allow minute traces of metals to accumulate in water standing in the fittings for several hours.

Although the health risk is small, the Ministry of Health recommends that you flush a mugful of water from your drinking-water tap each morning before use to remove any metals that may have dissolved from the plumbing fittings.

The Ministry of Health recommends this simple precaution for all households, including those on public and private water supplies.

Director-General of Health