Council supplies metered drinking water to 15,700 properties (about 34,000 people) across the Western Bay of Plenty District through a complex network of reticulation.
This network supplies three zones – Eastern, Central and Western – from which water is pumped from underground aquifers to individual properties.
Until the late 1990s Council’s water supply came from surface-fed sources (rivers and streams). These supplies sometimes failed to reach the national drinking water quality standards due to the water being affected by rainfall, rising waters, silts and turbidity. This resulted in Council being unable to supply clean potable water all the time. The overland nature of our infrastructure also put it at risk of damage in storms and floods.
We decided to convert from surface-fed to secure underground aquifers pumped by bores. This enabled us to achieve a more consistent quality of water and reliability of supply. It also allowed Council to increase its capacity to meet future demand and to improve reliability of supply in drought conditions.
This scheme employs the best technology to manage surface-fed supplies and consistently produce high quality drinking water.
Three Waters Reform
The Government is considering how best to regulate and deliver the country’s three water services - drinking water, wastewater and stormwater. Find out more about what Council's position on this is.
Flush those taps!
We're encouraging Western Bay residents to flush their water taps daily before drinking or using water for cooking. Why you ask? To get rid of any heavy metals absorbed from household plumbing.
While we are sleeping, or when we don't use our water taps for a number of hours, heavy metals from plumbing fittings - lead, nickel, cadmium, copper and antimony - can dissolve into our water.
To ensure we are not drinking these metals, the Ministry of Health recommends you tip out the first 500ml of water from the cold tap each morning and after returning home at the end of a day away.