If you receive a restricted supply, you need to have enough tank storage to hold at least three times the daily restricted flow. Sometimes restricted supplies are shut down for maintenance or as the result of poor water quality at the intake (this usually follows heavy rain when Council turns the intake pumps off to protect the supply from damage and contamination).
By having the required tank storage your water supply will not be interrupted while the supply is shut down. Tank storage on your property must be at least three times the daily restricted flow of water - for example, if you receive 1800 litres per day on your supply, you must be able to store at least 5400 litres of water. Council puts notices on the radio and our website when supplies have been turned off, so it pays to check these out from time to time - especially after plenty of rain.
Reserve storage requirement for new connections
If you are making a new connection to one of Council's restricted supplies, you must have reserve storage of one-third of the total volume of the storage in your supply tank (the picture to the right shows what this looks like).
If the main supply is turned off or there is a problem with water getting to your property (eg a leak in a pipe), the stopcock will stop the flow of water from the tank once you have used two-thirds of your stored water.
This acts as a warning system so you can find out why the water has stopped flowing into your tank and make arrangements to repair any leaks or conserve water before you completely run out.
More information about storage requirements for restricted supplies is available in Council's Water Supply Bylaw.
Running out of water
After periods of heavy rainfall, it's a good idea to check Council's website to see if there is a conserve water notice in place. On restricted supplies, you must have enough tank storage to hold at least three times the daily restricted flow so you don't run out of water if the supply is shut off or there is a problem with the network.
If water is not coming from the point of supply into your storage tank, there are a few reasons why this could be happening:
- The supply may have been turned off as a result of heavy rainfall and the water source has become dirty and silted up. When this happens, the intake pumps are turned off to protect the supply from damage and contamination. Council puts notices on the radio and our website when this happens, so it pays to check these from time to time - especially when there has been a lot of rain.
- Council contractors may be repairing or conducting maintenance on the supply network. Notice of this will be given where practicable and if the supply is likely to be turned off for more than three days.
- There may be an undetected leak in your plumbing system or in Council's supply network.
If you have checked the website and there are no conserve water notices, it is likely there is an undetected leak in your plumbing system or somewhere on the supply network. If you can't find any leak on your property, contact Council as soon as possible and we will follow this up.
Relocating the point of supply
If you move the point of supply on your property, you need to make an application to Council for a new connection.
A change to the location of a point of supply on a property is treated by Council as a new supply connection. You can download an Application Form for a new connection.
Council treats relocated points of supply as new connections for a number of reasons, including:
- Relocating the point of supply on one property can have an impact of the rest of the supply network - for example, it can change the pressure requirements
- It can cause confusion and rating mix-ups if there are separate titles on properties. Sometimes when people relocate the point of supply on a farm, it may go to another property title (or to an area than may be subdivided in the future). If Council is not made aware of any changes and is not able to record them for rating purposes, it can mean the water rates are charged to the wrong person.
- In some instances property purchasers may believe they have a water connection on their property (because water rates are charged under that title), when it fact they don't because it has been previously moved by the former owner to another location (under a different title) which is not part of the property they have purchased.
Caring for the restrictor
Make sure your restrictor is protected from damage or tampering - if it needs to be fixed or replaced, you may have to pay the cost.
A restrictor is the flow control device fitted to the service pipe that goes to your supply tank. It limits the flow rate of water to the daily supply allowance. For example, some restricted supplies get 1800 litres over a 24-hour period. It is important to ensure that the restrictor on your property is protected from damage (including frost damage) and is not removed or tampered with in any way.
Council will replace or repair restrictors following normal wear and tear, but the cost of repairing damage that has resulted from tampering or lack of protection will be charged to the property owner.
Council's Water Supply Bylaw sets out what the responsibilities are for protecting the supply, and what happens when there is a breach of the Bylaw.
Important note if you are buying a rural property
If you have bought a property on a restricted supply, before you move in it pays to check that the restrictor has not been damaged or tampered with in any way (the restrictor should look like the one in the picture above).
As the new property owner, you are liable for the cost of repairing any damage that has resulted from tampering or negligence, even if it was done before you bought the property and you are unaware of it. If you are unsure about what to look for, please call us on 03 433 0300.
If you think the restrictor is under-delivering water
If you think there may be a problem with the accuracy of your restrictor - ie you don't think it's delivering the amount of water it's supposed to - you can have it tested by Council (provided three months has elapsed since any previous test). If the restrictor is not working properly, you won't need to pay the cost of the testing.
If the test shows the restrictor is not working properly - that is, either over-delivering or under-delivering water to your property - Council will rectify the problem and make adjustments your rates invoices in accordance with the provisions outlined in section 9.13 of the Water Supply Bylaw.
Connections to the service pipe
You are not allowed to make any connections to the service pipe that leads from the point of supply to the water storage tank.
Cleaning your storage tank
Keeping your water tank clean means the water you are supplied with remains good to drink. All consumers on restricted supplies have water supply tanks that store three-times the daily restricted flow. Water tanks can build up sediment and should be cleaned regularly.
A tank can be given a basic clean by removing all the water and then using clean water to sluice it and scrub it out. A long-handled clean broom can be used to push all the sludge on the bottom of your tank out through the scour valve.
Alternatively, any sediment residue can be pushed to the bottom of the tank and sucked out with a vacuum system or pump. Siphoning off of sediments may also be done using an inverted funnel or pool vacuum cleaner, by dragging it along the bottom of the tank.
Disinfecting the tank
Before refilling your tank, scrubbing it out with a super-chlorinated solution such as a plain household bleach (e.g. 'Budget Bleach Regular', '..Extra Strength', or Clor-o-gene) results in a more thorough clean. A 1:2 dilution with water is advised for this (half a bucket of Janola in a full bucket of water). After you have scrubbed your tank with the chlorinated solution, this should be run through all your household lines so that the disinfected water comes through the taps.
If you use chlorine to clean out the tank and the pipe work, it can make the water undrinkable, so boil the water before use until it has fully cleared.
Caution: Household bleach can be corrosive to skin and eyes, even when diluted. Wear safety glasses and gloves for your own protection.
Warning: If you need to get into the tank to clean it, make sure there is adequate ventilation, and you have another person present at all times.
Ministry of Health Leaflet has detailed information on disinfecting a water tanks that you may find helpful.