'It smells': Timaru residents fed up with brown water coming out their taps

Timaru residents are grappling with an unexpected colour coming from their taps - discoloured brown and yellow water is running into homes and businesses across the town.

It comes as the summer heats up and puts pressure on water supply, but the council says the water is totally safe.

The discoloured water has been flowing from Timaru taps since mid-December.

Locals in the town Newshub spoke to weren't happy.

"It's pretty dirty, brown - pretty yucky to drink," said one.

"I've got a filter and I'm not even going to brush my teeth from the normal tap," said another.

"It's yellow, sometimes even darker than yellow and the toilets are dirty, and it smells," complained a third.

But the Timaru District Council is reassuring residents chlorine is doing the job.

"The water is safe to drink, it is meeting drinking water standards - however it is not very pretty," says Paul Cooper of the council.

"What is happening is the algae is going through our treatment process and acquiring a colour as its being killed. It is a harmless algae.

"This is a new problem, we are wrestling with it and we are trying to resolve it as quickly as we can."

Three tankers have been set up around town for locals to collect fresh drinking water.

Residents are being asked to limit their water usage and hold-off from watering lawns to ease the load on the network.

But locals will have to put up with dirty water for a bit longer.