Private water supply at home? Here comes summer – be prepared! | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Private water supply at home? Here comes summer – be prepared!

Believe it or not, despite a year of seemingly non-stop rain, spring is here and it’s now time for those whose water supply is a rain water tank, bore or stream, to start getting ready for a likely drier summer season.

Whangārei District Council Water Services Manager Andrew Venmore says the El Nino weather pattern has formed in the Pacific Ocean so for most of the Whangārei District this summer it will be windier and drier than normal.

“Council supplies water to about 80% of the population, and even our water levels can get low after long dry periods. We are set up to constantly monitor our system for leaks, but people on private systems (about 20% of the district’s 100,000 people) have to look after their own.

“People on private systems have to make sure their own systems are secure (no leaks) safe (no impurities), and there are good resources available online to help. One of the best is the water inspection checklist form on the ESR(external link) website. It outlines what to check for and actions to take for each different kind of water supply.”


Clean spouting/gutters every three months and after storms (and before storms if there has been a long, dry period). Every year check and trim overhanging branches, inspect and repair downpipes, check the condition of the roof.


Every year check and clean the intake, clean screens, check for cracking and damage around the bore casing, and get a full maintenance done by a by professional every 5 to 8 years.


Every three months check inlet and outlet screens, access covers, clear strainer of debris (and after storms) and check for mosquito larvae in tank water. Every year check the structural condition of the tank, check sludge levels and internal cleanliness every 2 years or as required. If tank is dirty get tank cleaned out by tank cleaning company.


Once a year check plumbing/piping is fully operational and well-maintained


Check that the UV light is operating and free from scum (weekly) and replace filters and UV bulb as per manufacturer’s instructions.


The Councils laboratory at Kioreroa Road will test water samples for E. coli test or chemicals – call them on 09 430 4220, or check here(external link) for more information.

“Finally, remember all the tricks and tips you already know for conserving water, try to make them year- round habits, and talk to visitors so they know your rules too. There are dozens of good resources on water saving online,” said Mr Venmore.


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