Residents in two Napier suburbs fed up with dirty drinking water

Tamatea drink water after being boiled twice.
Tamatea drink water after being boiled twice. Photo credit: Facebook/Kopu Kaui-Taunoa

Napier residents in Tamatea and Parkland are fed up with ongoing dirty drinking water, while the council continues to use bores that cause brown drinking water.

Tamatea resident, Kopu Kaui-Taunoa, said in a Facebook post they boiled tap water twice, only for it to remain brown, while others have had to replace appliances that use water.

Another resident, Graham Barclay said the brown water has ruined "countless clothes" and he has had to replace his electric jug twice in the last 12 months due to brown colouring on the plastic and grit on the bottom.

"We are paying for clean water but not getting that service, resulting in dirty water that stuffs up the hot water cylinder, Makes clothes unwearable due to staining, and damage to appliances that use the water," Barclay said.

Dirty water has been an ongoing issue in these areas with one resident, Lyn Grant, saying they first noticed the brown water in 2017.

A bathtub filled with tap water taken on different days
A bathtub filled with tap water taken on different days Photo credit: Facebook/Lyn Grant.

In a statement, the Napier City Council said that due to the increased demand over summer, they need to use bores that contribute to the dirty water issues, which is why the Tamatea-Parklands community may experience more dirty water than over the winter months.

Dirty water issues have been linked to water with higher manganese levels, which oxidises when combined with chlorine to create dirty water. 

Director of infrastructure services, Jon Kingsford said the Council acknowledges that the dirty water issue is taking a long time to resolve.

"We’re in the process of changing the way our drinking water network functions, which will help reduce dirty water incidents and will allow our network to behave more predictably," Kingsford said.

According to Napier City Council, $500,000 has been allocated to fix the dirty water issues in the area.

"These suburbs are going to be ‘ring-fenced’ off from the rest of the drinking water network. They will then be supplied with lower manganese water from the Taradale bores to see if this helps," Kingsford said.

Kingsford said staff are sent over to flush the pipes every time a resident reports a dirty water incident.

"We also recommend they run an outside tap for about 10 minutes first to see if that fixes the problem, as flushing doesn't remove any dirty water sitting in the pipe connecting the mains to the property," Kingsford said.