Water Services

Whanganui District Council offeres a wide range of water-related services that help to manage and protect this vital resource.

Open Watercourses and S​​tormwater

The Council provides the stormwater drainage service through a network of watercourses and piped systems which manages natural water run-off during normally expected rain events. The network is maintained in a manner that complements the environment and amenities of the urban area. The stormwater system also drains the road surface.

All our stormwater ultimately drains into the receiving environment which is either the Whanganui River or the Tasman Sea, which is why our water systems need to be managed in a way that minimises the impact of urban activity. To this end, the Council undertakes physical maintenance of pipes, watercourses and open drains and also requires privately owned drains to be maintained to an acceptable condition, where necessary for the wider community.

To encourage landowners to look after their watercourses in the best possible manner, we have our Healthy Streams Whanganui​ initiative in partnership with Horizons Regional Council, DoC and Whanganui Iwi to provide information to the public on best practices for maintaining their watercourses.

The following services are provided:

  1. Maintenance and operation of the network and facilities, to ensure functionality and availability of service.
  2. Enforcement of the maintenance of privately owned open drains.
  3. Support to the Matarawa flood control scheme.(Led by Horizons Regional Council)
  4. Support to the Lower Whanganui River Control Scheme (lead by Horizons Regional Council)
  5. Removal of obstructions within the public network.


The Council disposes of wastewater to minimise the impact of urban activity on the environment.

The service is provided through a network of wastewater pipes – generally within the road reserve – which are connected to properties at the boundary. Wastewater is collected from these points, treated and then discharged to sea through the ocean outfall approximately 1.7kms off South Beach.

Industrial premises are serviced through a controlled discharge regime under trade waste regulations.

Separate rural wastewater schemes are operated at Marybank and Mowhanau.

The following services are provided:

  1. Wastewater connections are provided at property boundaries.
  2. The service is available to all connected properties 99% of the time.
  3. Residential properties (except for those in restricted services zones) can discharge an unlimited volume of wastewater, 24 hours per day 7 days per week.
  4. Industrial wastewater is collected in accordance with individual industry agreements, and the Tradewaste Bylaw.
  5. Information to assist with service locations are available on request through the automated BeforeUDig service. On-site assistance can also be requested through our service call centre.
  6. Complaints/enquiries about service breakdown are responded to within four hours.
  7. Maintenance and operation of the network and facilities to ensure functionality and availability of service.

We are currently building a new wastewater treatment plant while screened wastewater is being temporarily discharged to the ocean outfall under emergency provisions. 

Read more about the wastewater treatment plant here.

River Control

The Council's river control service ensures that the river banks are kept in a stable and safe condition so that both people and public services are protected.

The banks of the Whanganui River from the sea to Kukuta are monitored for erosion, slippage and debris and repaired as necessary. (Horizons Regional Council manages the waterway itself).

Boat ramps at Wharf Street, Putiki and Aramoho motor camp are cleared of silt and debris to ensure boat access is available to the river, particularly for the Coastguard and rescue services.

Vegetation is trimmed where it could threaten bank stability.

Protection works are undertaken to counteract erosion/slippage. Riverbanks within the urban area are stabilised and maintained as determined by the Lower Whanganui River Study.

Water Supply

The Council provides consumers with a continuous supply of water at acceptable volume, pressure and quality, and also provides a fire fighting capacity to defined areas.

Water comes from four artesian bores - three at Kai Iwi and one at Aramoho. An auxiliary bore is also available at the Westmere water facility on SH3. Here there are three large reservoirs (23,000 cubic metre each) which provides the bulk of water 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 some areas to maintain the desired pressure and flow.

Separate rural schemes are operated at Fordell, Mowhanau, Westmere and Maxwell, with Fordell, Westmere and Maxwell rural schemes having their own committees.

The following services are provided to urban consumers:

  1. Supply is available to all serviced properties 99% of the time.
  2. Flow at point of supply generally exceeds 15 litres per minute.
  3. Pressure at point of supply generally ranging between 20m and 60m static head.
  4. Water is chlorinated and/or ozonised and meets New Zealand Drinking Water Standards 2005 (revised 2008).
  5. Information to assist pipe locations on request electronically through BeforeUDig. On-site Service/toby locations are also available on request within five working days (For water supply only).
  6. Flow from hydrants in the urban area has 85% compliance with the New Zealand Fire Service code of practice.
  7. Maintenance and operation of the network and facilities to ensure functionality and availability of service.

8.     Respond to quality, quantity and pressure complaints/enquiries within 24 hours. ​

9.     Repair leaks within five working days.

The services provided to rural users vary between schemes.

New domestic connections will be installed within eight working days of receipt of the connection fee.

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

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.

We are recommending this simple precaution for all households, including those on public and private water supplies.

Director-General of Health

Page reviewed: 17 Jul 2019 9:09am