Water Supply and Consumption - Frequently Asked Questions

What does potable water mean?

Potable water is water that is safe for humans to drink.


How is my water treated?

Treatment varies according to the water source and treatment facility in your community. This can be a combination of chemical, biological or physical processes that are used to enhance the quality of a drinking-water supply before its distribution. This ranges from very limited treatment at Matatoki and Thames Valley to a more sophisticated mixture of chemical dosing, pressure sand filters, UV disinfection and chlorination at other treatment plants.

In many cases the water is then stored in reservoirs before being supplied via the reticulation network to the consumers.  We are required by the Ministry of Health to undertake water sampling and testing from the treatment plants, reservoirs and from within the water supply network.

Operation and maintenance work is carried out by Veolia Water Ltd under contract.


How much water do we consume?

The Coromandel Peninsula uses an average of 13 million litres of water per day.  In summer this can rise to 25 million litres per day.

Councils in New Zealand have consent conditions imposed on the amount of water that they can extract on any given day. Volumes not consumed on one day cannot be added to the following day's consent level.

When visitors arrive (and there are thousands of them here on the Coromandel in summer time!), our daily consumption volumes rise dramatically.

In summer look out for water restriction update signs that indicate the current level of water restriction for each community.

Plumbosolvency Notice

Why it's important to flush your taps 

Many natural New Zealand waters tend to be "soft" with moderate to low levels of alkalinity and pH. These properties can give the water the potential to leach metals from taps and other plumbing fittings when water stands for several hours, for example overnight,  (ie. are "plumbosolvent").

To ensure that any risk from higher levels of metals is avoided, the Drinking Water Standards of New Zealand requires that Drinking Water suppliers pass on to consumers the following message from the Ministry of Health.

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

 If Council issues a Boil Water Notice what should I do?

In the event of Council issuing a boil water notice it is recommended that you boil all water used for cooking or face washing for a minimum period of 5 minutes. This does not include water used in the shower as that would be impractical.

Who do I report water leaks to and what do I tell them?

If you see a leaking tap – or a burst water main – contact the Council and provide as much detail as possible, for example the location, amount of water etc. This is important at any time of the year. We don’t want to waste our precious water at any time, particularly in summer (when demand is high) and in winter (when leaks can cause patches of ice). If the problem is urgent or after normal office hours call (07) 868 0200. If the problem is not urgent, email the Council using the request for service form.

How do I find my Toby (shut-off valve) location?

Want to know the location of the toby/shut-off valve on your property? Contact the Council Customer Service Centre (07 868 0200) who will be pass your request to our service provider.

How can I identify a fire hydrant and who can take water from a fire hydrant?

Fire hydrants are installed, owned and maintained by the Council. They are covered by a yellow cast iron lid and a yellow triangle is painted on the pavement for easy identification. The Fire Service (and Council contractors working on water-related projects) have the right to access water from the fire hydrants.  No other access is permitted without prior approval from the Council’s Infrastructure Department.

Who fixes the pipe from the boundary to the house?

Council maintains the water mains, but residents are required to maintain the pipes that run from their house or business to the Council owned pipe (commonly called the Lateral or Service Line). If you suspect a leaking Lateral or Service Line on your property, call a plumber. If you think there is a leaking water main then contact the Council on (07) 868 0200 (24 hours).

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