Thames Valley Water Project

The Thames Valley water supply project has been identified in the Council plans for a number of years. The water supply pipes in this area are very old (in some places well over 60 years) and they need renewing.

Project overview

The Thames Valley water supply project has been identified in the Council plans for a number of years. The water supply pipes in this area are very old (in some places well over 60 years) and they need renewing.

The Thames Valley Water Supply Project covers the following settlements and water supplies:

  • Matatoki - supplied by the Matatoki Stream;
  • Puriri - supplied by the Apakura Stream; and
  • Omahu, Hikutaia and Wharepoa - supplied by the Omahu Stream

The water sources used to supply the settlements in the Thames Valley (Omahu, Apakura and Matatoki streams) are relatively small and consented abstraction rates are under scrutiny from the Waikato Regional Council.

With the increased focus to improve the sustainability of our rivers, the Waikato Regional Council has introduced requirements to maintain minimum flows for rivers, thus reducing the amount of water that is available to be taken.  This has raised a challenge of supply versus the demand for our Council.

Based on this, the Council identified several improvements over a six year period that would allow the better management of our water supply system.  These project works include the following:

  • Installation of meters on all property connections to encourage better management of water and it is a more equitable way for the community to pay for water services.
  • Installation of bulk meters on the reticulation pipe network to enable better management of the system.
  • Replacement of the aging reticulation pipe network to reduce water loss through leaks and breakages.
  • Installation of the reservoirs to reduce the impact to the supply during large rainfall events.
  • Water takes consent renewals.

These works have been staged over several years.

Project stages

The project has been underway now for three years, with the current status of the project as follows:

  • Stage 1: COMPLETED - Installation of water meters to properties over 4 hectares and the introduction of a new water rates charging mechanism (for non-residential properties like farms).
  • Stage 2: COMPLETED - Investigating other water supply options (such as new water sources, making better use of current infrastructure, roof supply etc.) to future-proof water security for the area (click here to find out more about the investigation and the option that was selected)
  • Stage 3: COMPLETED - Apply for new resource consents from the regional council - an interim consent has been granted for the Apakura but an upgrade is anticipated.
  • Stage 4: COMPLETED - Two water mains have been renewed in the Thames Valley: Factory Road South in Wharepoa, and Ferry Road in Hikutaia.
  • Stage 5: COMPLETED - Complete hydraulic modelling of the combined water supplies.
  • Stage 6: ONGOING - Renewal of older watermains and major pipelines on the reticulation network is ongoing.  The linking of the Matatoki to Puriri systems has been completed.  Upgrading of the main from Omaha to Hikutaia is ongoing and planned to be completed October 2018.  Further mains will be replaced over the remaining years of the project, based on high water loss areas, and will include the following:
    • Matatoki, Bond and Wainui Roads - Construction from January 2018/19
    • Puriri to Omahu Valley Road - 2019/20
    • Wharepoa and Omahu rural network - 2020/21
  • Stage 7: ONGOING - Installation of water meters on properties less than 4 hectares, as per our resource consent requirements, completed. Reading of these meters will occur in 2018/19 with the intent to invoice for water usage to commence in the 2019/20 rating year.  Installation of bulk meters on the reticulation network is still ongoing and is due to be completed in 2018/19.
  • Stage 8: ONGOING - Investigations for the installation of raw water reservoirs for Puriri and Hikutaia. Investigation works to be carried out in 2018/19 with construction in 2019/20.

To find out more about the options investigation, please visit this web page. 

Water meters

As part of the Thames Valley project, water meters were installed on all properties that are serviced by the Thames Valley schemes (Matatoki, Puriri, Wharepoa and Hikutaia). These meters were installed in two stages.  The first stage involved the installation of meters on non-residential properties (i.e. farms and those properties that have traditionally been paying the "over 4 hectare water charge" on their rates).  These properties have been charged a water by meter charge and their rates invoice changed from a fixed rate for water to a separate invoice for a consumption based water charge.

The second stage involved the installation of meters to all remaining properties, which was completed in 2017/18.  During 2018/19 these meters will be monitored and properties that have high water consumption identified. Property owners will be advised to repair any leaks prior to being charged for water consumption from 1 July 2019.

Check for leaks

Given the old age of much of the infrastructure in the area, there is a good chance that there are water leaks that have gone unnoticed for some time on some private properties.  Because the water supply was installed so long ago, there may be water connections that property owners don't even know about.

We suggest residents check their water supply pipes now for any evidence of leaks so they don't get larger than expected water charges when they are implemented in July 2019.

Here's some handy information on checking for a leak.

We also have a very good brochure about our water meters so you can understand more about them, how to read them and how they work and how to spot a problem. Download the brochure from the 'download box' on the right-hand side of this page.