Water Supply FAQs

This page contains answers to frequently asked questions relating to the supply of potable water.

Water charges | Cross lease properties | Water leaks | Water meters | Water Conservation | New water service | No water | Low water pressure | Supply on borewater | Installing a private water bore


Water charges

Q: What is the current water charge?
A: Go to the water rates page for latest charges for water.

Q: Why was the new charging scheme via water meters introduced?
A: Because with a growing population in the district, our demand for water is increasing. Water is a limited resource, so we had to find a way to encourage people to reduce their water use. The parts of New Zealand that have introduced water meters have had a 25% reduction in water use on average. Charging people for the amount of water they use is a fairer system, as those who use more water pay more than those who use less.

Q: Water charges are no longer included in general rates. Are they still a rate?
A: Yes, the cost of water is now charged as a separate rate from general rates, but it is still a targeted rate and covered by the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002. 

Q: Why do ratepayers in Otaki and Paekakariki have water meters when they aren't supplied by Waikanae River water like the rest of the district?
A: Otaki and Paekakariki residents are supplied with water from bores, whereas residents from Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Raumati are supplied from Waikanae River. Bore water has to be treated and piped to households/businesses in the same way river water does, processes which are expensive and getting dearer, so all ratepayers will be charged for water in the same way.

There are strict legal limits to how much water can be taken from bores, so residents on bore water need to look at ways to conserve water just like residents on river water do. Saving water will also keep down the cost of water production, maintaining and upgrading the water network.

Q: Can I calculate how much water I'm using and what it would cost?
A: Yes you can take readings of your water meter yourself, and then calculate how much an amount of water would cost. Go to estimating you water costs.

Q: Is there a remission available for water charges?
Yes, a water rates remission for households who have more than three dependents (18 years or younger) living at their property. Go to water rates remissions for criteria and application process.

Council also offers rates remission for those experiencing financial hardship through unexpected or on going costs. The rates remission page provides more detail on the extreme financial hardship rates remission.

Q: I have a private bore – how will this affect my water bill?
A: Everyone connected to the town water supply will pay a fixed charge, plus a charge for how much water is used. The less water you use from town supply, the less you will pay.

Q: Should I get a final water reading if I sell my house?
A: A final reading is required when a property is sold. Property settlements require a final water invoice to be included. Your solicitor will arrange this with Council as part of the property settlement. The costs of the final read can be found here.

Q: Besides charging for water, what else is in place to ensure a long-term water solution for Kāpiti?
A: Water charging via water meters is just one part of our long-term water solution. Other parts include:

River recharge scheme: when river levels are low, Waikanae River will be topped up with groundwater below the treatment plant so more water can be taken from the river (ensuring bore water doesn't enter our water supply during dry times).

Treatment plant upgrade: replacement of ageing equipment and pipes, plus upgrading treatment processes is now completed.

Water conservation: such as reducing water loss and offering a targeted rate to install rainwater tanks or greywater systems (Council pays for the systems to be installed and owner pays Council back through their rates). 


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Cross lease properties

Q: What is the difference between a 'primary meter' and a 'check meter'?
A: A 'primary' meter is the meter at the Council’s point of supply, generally at the street, which measures the total amount of water going into the cross leased property or down the common private supply pipe of a right of way (ROW).

Council offered to install ‘check meters’ for cross leased properties or households off a ROW to record individual household use.

If each property gets a 'check' meter, the owners can determine who used how much of the total amount of water used through the primary meter. If the primary meter identifies a leak, the check meters can help identify if the leak is on the common private supply pipe or within a private property.

Q: What if I have a check meter but my cross lease neighbour doesn't?
A: The owner who has a 'check' meter will only pay for water they use, as measured by their check meter. The owners in the same cross lease or private right-of-way who doesn't agree to a 'check' meter will be charged an equal share of the remaining water volume as measured through the primary meter. This can include any leaks on the common supply pipe.

Q: My property does not have a check meter, can I still get one?

A: Yes, Council offers to install a check meter provided:

  • Council obtains written consent from property owner
  • The owner can identify a suitable location on their private supply pipe to install the check meter (such as an existing toby)
  • The check meter is located in a place outside buildings with 24/7 access
  • The check meter meter installation is economical, practical and feasible

If you would like to apply for a check meter, go to Council's contact page

Watch our video about finding your toby on YouTube


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Water leaks

Q: Can I check for leaks myself?
A: You can check for leaks yourself at any time. Turn off all your taps and water appliances, then look at your water meter. If the arrow on the dial is still moving, you probably have a leak somewhere on your property. For more on detecting leaks, getting them fixed and how to get help, go to checking for water leaks

Q: There is water inside my meter box – do I have a leak?
A: Condensation does occur inside the plastic manifold box. This does not necessarily mean there is a leak, but there may be a leak if water at the bottom of the box is over a centimetre and its moving. Ring Council on 0800 486 486 if concerned.

Q: Is there any assistance for the cost of water being lost via a leak at my property?
A: Ratepayers who are concerned about this can apply to Council to have the estimated cost of water lost from the leak taken off their first invoice and only be charged for average water use for a similarly-sized household/business. They will need to provide evidence the leak has been fixed. show they have taken steps to fix the leak.

Leaks will need to be fixed before the next invoice is sent. This is to encourage leaks being repaired promptly and prevent water being wasted.

Q: Is there any financial assistance available for the cost of fixing leaks?
A: If you qualify for a government rates rebate or a water rates remission, you may also qualify for funding assistance for the cost of getting a leak fixed.

Q: Does Council provide advice on leaks?
A: Yes. Council offers free advice on how to find leaks and how to go about fixing them. Phone 0800 486 486.

Watch our video on finding leaks and changing washers on YouTube.


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Water meters

Q: How do I read my water meter?
A: Information on how to read your meter can be found on our website here.

Watch our water meter video on YouTube to learn how to read your meter.

Q: Do water meters result in people using less water?
A: Water meters do encourage people to conserve water. They have led to a 25% reduction in water use throughout the district since installation, much like other areas of the country which have introduced them.


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Water Conservation

Q: What Water Conservation services does Council offer?

A: Council provides:

  • Free advice on fixing leaks and saving water. The Water Conservation Advice page provides more detail.
  • Expert advice on creating outdoor spaces that use water efficiently. The Green Gardener page provides more detail.
  • A targeted rate (Council pays for the work and you pay Council back through your rates over ten years) for installing a new rainwater tank, rejuvenating an old tank or installing a greywater system. Explore the Water Retrofit Service page for more detail on how the service can work for you.


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New water service

Q: How do I get a new water connection/alteration to my existing water service.
A: Complete a Water Supply Connection form (available from Council service centres) and submit to us for processing.

Q: How much will it cost for a new water connection/alteration?
A: There is no application fee to have your application form assessed.

Costs vary from site to site and are estimated on a case by case basis. Cost estimates are provided to the applicant if the new connection is approved. Only actual installation costs are charged to the applicant when the installation work is completed.

Q: When would an alteration or disconnection of the water supply be needed?
A: Application to disconnect existing water supply would be needed if a building was to be demolished or for properties requiring a change in water allocation/location of existing water connection.

Watch our video about finding your toby on YouTube


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No water

Q: What do I do if I have no water supply to my house?
A: If there is water to your outside hose tap, contact a plumber to get water supplied to your house. If not, contact the Council on 0800 486 486.

Q: Is the property cross-leased i.e. shares the toby with another house?
A: In many instances, one neighbour has turned the water off to carry out repairs and not informed the other homeowner.

If there is no apparent reason for lack of water, contact the Council immediately on 0800 486 486.

Watch our video about finding your toby on YouTube.


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Low water pressure

Q: What do I do if my water pressure is low?
A: If you have a supply tank on your roof, contact a plumber.

If you are on mains pressure, contact Council on 0800 486 486. It is helpful to Council staff if you can provide a time period for the drop in water pressure.


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 Q: How will I know if we are on borewater?
A: Council will now use borewater to recharge the river during low river flows. It is unlikely Council will supply treated borewater to households. However if Council does supply treated borewater, it will advertise on the radio when switching over to borewater from bores.

It takes 1–2 days before borewater gets through treatment, storage and pipelines to homes.

There is a page on this website that describes the various water supplies in the District and the source of each supply. Visit:


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Installing a private groundwater bore

Q: How do I install a new groundwater bore on my property?
A: You will need to get resource consent from Greater Wellington Regional Council first. View information about the Resource Consent process here.

Contractors who install private groundwater bores can be found in the Yellow Pages.


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