Water treatment and supply
Water Fluoridation Update:
On 27 July 2022 Council has been advised by the Ministry of Health it must add fluoride to the Cambridge water supply. This is NOT a council decision. The law was changed in November 2021 and it is now the Ministry of Health that makes ALL decisions around fluoride. Council has already advised the Ministry it will take at least nine months to take this action, and only after receiving funding to help pay for the work required.
At this stage, we have no information as to when that funding will be provided, meaning this change is still some way off. If you wish to make comment or receive further information about this issue please email the Ministry directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is a link to the Ministry’s news release which may also be helpful.
Ministry of Health New Release - 27 July 2022
We extract 26,410 cubic metres of water every day from source. Then it’s treated and supplied to Cambridge, Karāpiro, Kihikihi, Ohaupo, Pirongia, Pukerimu, Te Awamutu and selected rural areas through one of our four water schemes.
Waipā water schemes
- Cambridge Water Supply Scheme sources water from the Waikato River.
- The Kihikihi Water Supply Scheme sources water from two bores, one at Hall Street and the other at Church Street, this scheme is also interconnected with the Te Awamutu scheme fed from the Waikato River.
- The Pukerimu Water Supply Scheme sources water from the Waikato River.
- The Te Awamutu Water Supply Scheme sources water from the Mangauika Stream on Mt Pirongia, from a bore on Frontier Road and from the Waikato River.
Waipā’s water is treated so it’s safe for you to drink, and complies with the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards.
Our six water treatment plants across the district supply water to over 16,050 properties through 645 kilometres of water mains and pipes.
Learn more about how your water is treated, the water treatment plant in the video is for Hamilton City Council, but follows similar processes as the plants here in Waipā:
Water taste and odour issues
If you've noticed a change in the taste and odour of your water, it’s likely caused by increased levels of algae in the water supply.
Algae levels naturally increase in the summer, due to low flowing streams and warm temperatures. The water supply is still safe to drink and complies with the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards.
It is recommended that residents chill their water prior to drinking to help reduce the taste and odour.
Connections to Council Supply
If you require a connection to Council's network, an application form will need to be filled out and lodged with Council, along with the payment of appropriate charges.
If you find a fault in the network belonging to Council, please contact us as soon as possible by reporting it online or calling 0800 WAIPA DC (0800 924 723). This phone line is staffed 24/7.
If you find or suspect a fault on your own property, it’s your responsibility to fix it and we strongly suggest you contact a plumber or drainlayer.
For more information about water conservation, please visit www.smartwater.org.nz
Waipā Water Story - an overview of water treatment for our district.
For more information about water meters & rates, please click here
Water supply bylaw
View the latest bylaw documents: Bylaws
Frequently asked questions
What is being done to make sure the water is safe to drink?
Drinking water is monitored in Waipā to address possible contaminants including algae and associated taste and odour issues.
At a minimum our water supply is tested for the presence of any E. coli and for pH, turbidity and chlorine residual concentrations as per the current New Zealand Drinking Water Standards. Each water supply is different, and might have further parameters tested in addition to the above.
When algae levels increase in the summer, we test more frequently to closely monitor its presence and keep our drinking water safe.
Our water quality testing is verified by an independent, IANZ-accredited, Ministry of Health approved laboratory. Other agencies like Waikato Regional Council also monitor water quality in river and stream environments for the presence of algae some of these water bodies are also source water for the Waipā water supply such as the Waikato River.
Is the water safe to drink with this unpleasant flavour?
If you’re on a public water system it’s completely safe to drink and complies with all New Zealand Drinking Water Standards.
Some algae results in an earthy flavour or even an unpleasant odour and taste, even at very low concentrations. Chilling your water reduces taste and odour issues.
Water supplies owned and managed by Council are required to treat, disinfect, and manage drinking water for their customers. If there’s a potential health risk, we’ll notify you, provide instructions and take immediate steps to remove the risk.
What is algae?
Algae is a naturally occurring organism found in fresh water. Blue-green algae (scientifically known as cyanobacteria) are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. Under certain conditions, blue-green algae can become abundant in warm, shallow, undisturbed, nutrient-rich surface waters that receive a lot of sunlight - such as a raw water storage reservoir.
While algae can cause an unpleasant flavour, it’s not dangerous or connected to adverse health effects. Council-supplied water is rigorously tested and meets all requirements of the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards and will not make you sick. If you or a family member is experiencing an upset stomach, we recommend contacting your doctor for advice.
If I have concerns about the quality of the water on my property can I get the water tested?
Council are responsible for the quality of the water up to the property boundary. As detailed above, Council undergo regular testing of the water supply prior to delivery to properties. If you have questions about council supplied water please contact Waipā District Council on 0800 924 723.
For water testing on your property please refer to the yellow pages and laboratory services for appropriate contacts (this is a service not offered by Council).