Rural Water - Check your pipes

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Published: 23 Jun 2022

It's winter again! And with freezing conditions, severe frosts can cause damage to pipe work in homes and keep plumbers busy. But on rural water supply schemes, blown frost plugs in flow restrictors can cause an abrupt increase in water demand. This can result in the scheme not supplying water to some consumers.

As the air temperature plummets, rubber frost plugs protect the pipes by forcing out by the expanding freezing water – as they are supposed to do. But in the process they pop out and need replacement.

Frost plug


After heavy frosts, please check your frost plug if you are on a rural water supply (e.g. Seadown, Downlands, Te Moana and Orari). Forced-out plugs should be obvious to spot.

Timaru District Council supplies free frost plugs and filters which can be collected from the following locations:

  • Timaru District Council headquarters: 2 King George Place, Timaru
  • Temuka Library and Service Centre: 72-74 King St, Temuka
  • Geraldine Library and Service Centre: 80 Talbot St, Geraldine
  • Cave General Store: 53 Elizabeth Street, Cave
  • Pleasant Point Dairy: 75 Main Road, Pleasant Point
  • Pareora Takeaway & Grocery Shop: 3 The Avenue, Pareora

It’s up to you to maintain and replace the plug. The frost plug must be installed from the inside face of the restrictor unit. The frost plug can be soaked in hot water to soften and allow for easier insertion if required. Note: You'll need to shut off the water for an hour or so while you fit a new plug.

And - if you notice a damaged pipeline caused by the frost, please call us on 03 687 7200 so we can get it fixed.

Many thanks,

Drainage and Water Team
Timaru District Council

Last updated: 23 Jun 2022