Upper Pareora Water Supply

Water Supplies

Where does the Upper Pareora water come from? 

The Upper Pareora water supply comes from an intake in the Upper Pareora Gorge which is an offtake from the Pareora – Timaru raw water supply pipeline near Lindisfarne.

Is the water safe? How is it treated?

The water is treated by filtration, UV treatment and chlorination and is stored in treated water tanks, before entering the pipeline to your taps. The UV treatment is designed to kill bacteria and protozoa (e.g. e-coli, giardia and cryptosporidium) and chlorination prevents the treated water getting re-contaminated on the way to your tanks. The treatment, reservoir levels and flows are remotely monitored via a telemetry system, which sends alarms to our operators whenever there are system failures.

Water allocations

Upper Pareora is a trickle-feed water supply. Water is sold by the unit and there is a limit of 33 units for the entire scheme. Each unit allows for a supply of 1,000 litres per day, provided there is storage capacity available.

The allocation is based on a supply of 65 litres per hectare per day, plus 1,000 litres per dwelling per day where this allocation has been approved. The volume is rounded to the appropriate unit.

A restrictor unit is fitted with a jet to control the volume of water supplied into your storage tanks. Tampering with the jet, or any pipework prior to the restrictor to obtain more water is an offence that can result in enforcement action.

All connections must have a minimum storage tank requirement of 20,000 litres or three days allocation, whichever is greater (unless a different arrangement has been pre-agreed with Council). A minimum 20% of the tank volume is to be held as reserve.

Maintenance of the Upper Pareora water supply

The Timaru District Council is responsible for the management and operation of the water supply, and is also responsible for maintenance of the system up to and including the ballcock.

Occasionally, a water main may need to be shut down for maintenance, meaning you will have no water flowing to your tank. We try to keep disruption to a minimum and where possible inform people in advance. Your onsite storage should allow you to have enough water if this happens.

Surface water is the source for the Upper Pareora scheme, and can be compromised by weather conditions. We will advise you if any boil water notices have been issued. This could be via email, phone call, text message, or notice posted on Facebook or Council’s website.

Your responsibilities

Water conservation:

  • Water is a limited and precious resource. Council is only allowed to take so much water from the ground and rivers, so we all need to be considerate with our water usage. We regularly monitor flows for high usage.
  • Consumers are responsible to maintain their tank and private pipe network downstream, and any leakage is required to be repaired promptly. If our monitoring reveals continually high flow rates above acceptable levels, enforcement action may be taken in accordance with Council’s Water Supply Bylaw.

Tank maintenance:

  • Care of the frost plug and filter located inside the restrictor valve, where fitted. New frost plugs and filters are free and available from Timaru District Council and the Temuka and Geraldine Service Centres. Consumers must ensure adequate frost protection of the restrictor units.
  • Regularly check and clean your restrictor. The restrictor filter prevents fine sediment from entering your storage tank and provides a seal between the restrictor body and the face plate.
  • Your tank is legally required to have an overflow outlet 40mm below the ballcock inlet level in the tank, to prevent the water level rising above the ballcock and getting back into the watermain. You should check these levels to ensure your tank complies.
  • Your tank should be cleaned and sterilised with chlorine bleach annually. Check out our Tank Sterilisation page for details on how to do this.

Backflow Prevention:

  • Backflow occurs when water flows in reverse to the normal intended direction, i.e. it flows from your property back into the water supply system.
  • Backflow is caused by changes in pressure. Backflow contamination can come from sources such as private wells, alternative water supplies, hoses left in ponds or pools or incorrect air gaps on header tanks.
  • Backflow has the potential to be become a serious health risk if contaminated water flows back into the mains. It is important you understand the risks of backflow to help protect our drinking water.
  • Council can request an assessment of the backflow risk from any property and 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 within a property's boundary it is the owner’s responsibility to fix it but you can contact the Council for technical advice.

Council has a 24/7 call-out service on: (03) 687 7200.

New water connections

No new water connections will be permitted – this is a closed scheme. No redistributions of the current allocation will be considered.


Water will be invoiced annually at the start of Council’s financial year (July). The cost will be similar to the fees of our Downlands Rural Water Supply per tank connection and per unit. Refer Water Fees and Charges.

Last updated: 20 May 2022