Christchurch locals queue for spring water instead of drinking chlorinated tap water

A secret fresh water well is proving to be a lifeline for Christchurch residents who can't stand the taste and smell of the city's chlorinated water.

On a small suburban street, a swathe of residents are filling their bottles en masse with the fresh spring water that comes out of the Lotus at Siam Thai Day Spa.

In January, the city's councillors voted to temporarily chlorinate the city's water supply after a recommendation by Canterbury medical health officer Dr Alistair Humphrey.

On Monday, Christchurch City Council announced the chlorination levels in Christchurch's drinking water will be lowered in an attempt to reduce the strong taste and smell.

But that doesn't stop people, young and old, from lining up in Cashmere to get fresh water.

"It's very popular here... I've been coming for seven years since the earthquake once a week - I haven't bothered to stop," resident Michael Fowke says.

"I just think the water is fantastic - you notice the difference when you're drinking it with a cup of tea, and you know it's absolutely beautiful."

Another resident Gloria McKenzie agrees.

"This is beautiful, this is artesian, it comes from a spring well - what better could you get?"

On the weekend, hundreds of people line up to get fresh water - with some occasionally struggling to get a park on the dead-end street, Ms McKenzie says.

"But you can't blame people with children and that you've got to have clean water," she says.

It was Bec Moren's first day filling up at the well. She previously had fresh water brought down from friends in Blenheim because she can't stand the taste.

"I'm starting to run out of that now so, I just come down here and fill it up," she said. "I can't have a coffee from the jug - the taste of the chlorine is really strong."

Even the coffee shop down the road has started using the fresh water because customers can taste the difference, Deja Brew owner Sacha Coogan says.

"Honestly it's just so much better and people notice it. I have two [containers] so I fill both of them up and I just refill them at the end of the, you'd get a lot - maybe 80."