Timaru Water Supply

Water Supplies

Where does Timaru's water come from and is it safe?

Timaru's water comes from two sources: the Upper Gorge of the Pareora River and from the Opihi River near Pleasant Point. From there it is piped to the Claremont Reservoir.

Timaru's water is treated with ozone to make it safe. Ozone kills bacteria and protozoa (e.g. giardia and cryptosporidium). The Timaru water supply is also chlorinated to prevent the water getting re-contaminated on its way to your taps.

What does it take to get the water to our taps?

We have four pumping stations, two reservoirs, a treatment plant and a network of around 300 kilometres of pipelines. The Council operates and manages these assets but we do use contractors to carry out the maintenance work. Occasionally we may have to shut down a water main to carry out some maintenance, which means you will have no water. We do however try to keep any disruption to a minimum and, if possible, to let people know in advance that their water is going to be turned off. It might be by letter, an advert in the paper or on the radio or a combination of these. However, the water supply may be interrupted without notice and if you need a continuous supply of water then please you make your own storage arrangements.

The Timaru water supply serves a population of approximately 26,832 people.

Who looks after the Timaru water supply?

The Council owns and maintains the water supply network from where the water comes from through to the connection to your toby at the street boundary.

What are your responsibilities?


You are responsible from your toby to your taps.

If you have a shared right of way it is common that the water supply within that right of way is a combined water service for all users. Users who use this pipework are responsible for its operation and maintenance. As this supply line is beyond the road boundary it is not the Council's responsibility.

Conserve water

  • Water is a limited and precious resource. The Council is only allowed to take so much water from the rivers and ground water, so we all need to use water wisely. We constantly check our pipelines to ensure that we do not have any leaks and we ask you to fix any leaks you may find on your property.
  • The Council will get in touch with you if we become aware of water wastage on your property and will ask you to fix it. If it continues to be at unacceptable levels then enforcement action may be taken.
  • If you are a consumer who uses a lot of water you may have a meter installed on your water supply connection.


Dry weather conditions may result in short supply because of low river levels and excessive use by consumers. When this happens hosing restrictions are put in place to help keep the demand for water down.

Restrictions are advertised in the newspaper and on our website www.timaru.govt.nz.

Backflow Prevention

What is backflow?

Backflow means that water is flowing in reverse to the normal direction ie: it is coming from your property back into the water mains.

How does it happen?

It can come from a private well on your property, or from hoses left in ponds or pools, a home irrigation system or an incorrect air gap on a header tank. It's really important that you know of the risks as contamination of water supply due to backflow can be a potential health hazard. As a Council we can ask to have an assessment of the risk of backflow from any property and to require an appropriate backflow prevention device or system be installed at the property owner's expense.

Report or Repair Faults

Please let us know if you see a fault in our water system such as burst pipes, leaky water mains etc. If the fault occurs inside a property's boundary then it is up to the owner to fix it but you can contact the Council for technical advice.

The Timaru District Council have a 24 hours, 7 days a week contact telephone number: 03 687 7200

Need a service connection?

Pick up an application form from the Council's main office at 2 King George Place or visit our Services Consents page.

Other information on water supply services provided by the Timaru District Council is available at our website www.timaru.govt.nz.


For any enquiries relating to the District's Water Supply please contact us:

  • Timaru District Council
    2 King George Place, Timaru 7910
    Phone: 03 687 7200
    Email: enquiry@timdc.govt.nz
  • Temuka Service Centre
    King Street, Temuka 7920
    Phone: 03 687 7591
  • Geraldine Service Centre
    Talbot Street, Geraldine 7930
    Phone: 03 693 9336

Last updated: 06 Apr 2023