Drinking Water

Kaikōura District Council operates 8 public water supply schemes supplying water/kātao to over 3,000 properties.

Drinking water in Kaikōura

Kaikōura District Council operates 8 public water supply schemes supplying water to over 3,000 properties.  For full information on each scheme check the information on this page under 'Our Water Schemes'. 

For a full list of the current Boil Water Notices, check the Boil Water Notice Reminder under Latest News

The November 2016 earthquake caused significant and expensive damage to a number of our water schemes. In addition, operational costs (maintenance, sampling and testing, power, treatment etc) have continued since the quake and in some cases, increased significantly. 

We’ve sought and received significant funding from our insurers and the Crown towards the repairs. The government will cover 60% of all water repairs and renewals for earthquake damaged infrastructure. Ratepayer contributions help cover the operational and capital costs not covered by the Crown or insurers.

Water Supply Problems

If you have a problem with your water supply, check if it's a problem with the pipes in your house, or the pipe between the Council’s service valve and your house. If this is the case, you will need to call a plumber and work with them to fix the problem as it is on private property.

If the problem is on the Council side of the 'point of supply', contact us and log a service request so that we can fix it for you. To log a request, call us on 03 319 5026 or register a Request for Service here.

Paying for water in Kaikōura

Council splits the rates for water into a number of different charges to help spread the costs of supplying safe drinking water as fairly as possible. These are:


Boil water notices

A number of our water schemes are currently on BWN's. Some of these are due to earthquake damage, some are longer-term issues.To check if your scheme is on a BWN, why and how long we expect the BWN to be in place check out the Boil Water Notice Reminder under Latest News.

Boil Water Notices (BWN) are put in place when there is an elevated risk of contamination of the supply or routine testing results show that acceptable limits for contaminants have been exceeded.

We know living with Boil Water Notices can be frustrating. We’re doing everything we can to improve water quality and remove the notices as soon as possible whilst keeping people healthy.

Residents or visitors using water from schemes with Boil Water Notices in place should boil all drinking/cooking water for at least 1 minute before use. This includes water for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking
  • Making Ice
  • Brushing Teeth
  • Washing Dishes

Our Water Schemes

Useful Links

10 July 2018

*Figures taken from the 2018-2021 3 Year Plan

**A “water unit” refers to a certain water connection, generally a rural water connection, that restricts the quantity of water supplied to a property, to the quantity of litres per day as specified


Drinking Water Standards

The Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2007 (an amendment to the Health Act 1956) came into force on 1 July 2008. This requires Councils to monitor drinking water and to take all practicable steps to comply with the Drinking Water Standards (DWS) as well as to implement risk management plans.

Three main themes are covered under the DWS:

  • Maximum Acceptable Values (water quality standards for microbial, chemical and radiological determinants)
  • Compliance criteria and reporting requirements
  • Remedial actions to be taken when non-compliance is detected.

How we look after your drinking water

Water Safety Plans (WSPs) are a tool used by Councils to help ensure that drinking water meets NZ legal requirements and health guidelines. Council must have a WSP for each water scheme. 

WSP's assess a drinking water scheme, the risks and demands associated with it, and include plans for treatment, distribution and monitoring to help manage water quality and reducing the risk of contamination. If needed, the plan also includes recommendations about what work is needed to make sure the scheme complies with NZ's drinking water standards. This includes operations & maintenance, monitoring and testing and treatment upgrades.

Council works with Food and Health NZ to look after our water schemes, including work on our WSPs. Information about the current WSP status for Kaikōura's water safety schemes can be found under the 'Our Water Schemes' section above. 

What sort of testing does Council carry out on its’ water supplies?

Sampling and testing creates a picture of the water quality in the network. Council carries out both field tests and sampling tests.

Under normal circumstances the Workers Village, Esplanade, South Bay and Scarborough Reservoir are all sampled weekly.  Mackles bore is sampled pre and post treatment twice a week.

Field tests are done at the same time that each water sample is taken. They give an indication of water quality at the time. Innovative Waste is notified when field test results that are abnormal.

This is compliant with the NZ Drinking Water Standards and has been approved by Councils Drinking Water Assessor.

What do we test for?

We take water samples to test for E Coli and Total Coliforms.  Samples are couriered to to an accredited laboratory in Christchurch in chilled condition.  It takes at least 24 hours to get a result 

We also test in the field for residual chlorine (FAC) levels, combined available chlorine (CAC) and turbidity (suspended matter).  The results are available instantly.

To be useful for making decisions, test results must be read pursuant to the Drinking Water Standards for NZ and also comply with the Water Safety Plan for the scheme.

Where do we take samples from?

Water sampling currently covers points throughout the supply network including: source, post treatment, post water storage reservoirs and at strategic points in the reticulation (pipe network).

Plumbosolvency Notice

Some plumbing fittings have the potential to allow minute traces of metals to accumulate in water that is standing in the fittings for several hours.

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

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

Water Meter Charges

Certain properties are “extraordinary consumers”, such as commercial and accommodation premises, homes with swimming pools, and properties with more than one connection. These properties are metered and water meter charges apply in addition to the applicable rates above.

Water meters are read twice each year in January and July, and the consumers are charged for the amount of water they use. Payments are 20 February and 20 August.

On restricted schemes, water usage which exceeds the daily water unit allowance will be charged at $1.00 per cubic meter (including GST).

All properties with a meter will incur a twice‐annual meter maintenance charge of $25.00 ($50.00 per year) to cover the costs of the meter as well as administration expenses.

*Figures taken from the 2018-2021 3 Year Plan

**A “water unit” refers to a certain water connection, generally a rural water connection, that restricts the quantity of water supplied to a property, to the quantity of litres per day as specified