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Water Connections and Meters Ngā hononga me ngā ine wai

Water is an important resource and we need to be smart about how we use it. Metering large use water connections helps us to encourage smart water use in the District.

Water Meters

Water meters are fitted to some properties in township areas in Central Hawke's Bay, normally on larger sections, sections with a swimming pool or commercial water users. Meters are generally read four times each year. Some high-volume users in Central Hawke's Bay have their water meters read monthly.

Water Connections

Water connections from the Council main to and including the toby and/or meter manifold must be installed by a contractor approved by Council for the installation of water connections, at the applicant's expense. You can download an Application for Service Connection here.

Charges

The first 300 cubic metres (300,000 litres) will be included as part of your water rates. If you use less than 300 cubic metres per year, your water rates will cover all costs and there will be no further charges. If you use more than 300 cubic metres, you will be invoiced on a user-pays basis. You can find your current rate here.

[The threshold of 300 cubic metres per year is set above the volume of water an average Central Hawke's Bay household would use in a year - 274 cubic metres/year as per the Ministry of Health guidelines.]

If your property has a water meter, please keep an eye on the amount of water that you use because the property owner is responsible for all of the water that goes through the water meter.

We recommend that you read your water meter regularly. As a guide, normal household usage should be approximately 25 cubic metres (approximately 800 litres/day) of water per month but activities like irrigating the garden can dramatically increase your water usag as can leaky pipes, taps and stock troughs.

If you suspect you have a leak, you can check by turning off all of your taps and taking a look at the meter. If the meter is still moving, you may have a leak somewhere on your property and should contact your plumber to get the leak fixed.

If you have any further queries regarding water rates in Central Hawke's Ba,y please do not hesitate to contact Council on +64 6 857 8060.

Remission of Water Meter Rates

If you do receive an unexpected water invoice from us, it could be an indication you have a leak somewhere on your property and you are losing water. If this is the case, get the leak repaired promptly and contact our Finance team on 06 857 8060 and we can investigate whether the invoice can be reversed. For more details refer to our policy (page 7) Remission of Water Meter Rates Attributable to Water Leaks Policy.

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Our water is precious and a range of measures are required to manage its use. Meters are a valuable tool to measure how much water is being used; identify water loss; provide information to homeowners and ratepayers on how much water they are using; and indicate to Council how it can plan for water use in the future.

Many homes in the district will have a water meter. These are installed next to the toby at the property boundary. Meters are generally read four each year.

The water supply bylaw gives Council the ability to meter the water usage and to align with water sustainability outcomes. If your property has had repairs recently or upgrades completed nearby, Council may take this opportunity to install a water meter, which means some properties will have water meters while others do not. Our long-term goal is to have universal water metering so that everyone who is connected to our water network has a water meter.

Water usage is included in your rates for those properties connected to our network. You will not be charged over and above this unless you are a high user, using more than the allocated 300 cubic metres per property per annum.

For more information about the bylaw and our sustainable management plan, refer to these documents:

Council has a large number of meters across the network. They have generally been installed over the past 10-15 years, on those properties where either new houses have been built or there are home businesses, large sections/gardens, or swimming pools. Every property connected to the Council’s water network is entitled to 300 cubic metres of water each year, which most people do not use and therefore do not accrue any additional charges. Additional charges for extra water usage can result from a leak on the property or if people have put in a new garden or garden and don’t realise how much water a sprinkler/irrigation uses. Council has policies to support “remission” of charges when a leak has been detected and fixed quickly. 

When Council put a bylaw out for consultation back in 2021, the current approach was supported. We believe that expanding the number of meters is best done gradually – where repairs are being made or new properties are developed – rather than meter everyone at once, which would be a significant expense.

You have received the invoice because you have a water meter at your property and readings show you have used more than the allocated 300 cubic metres of water per property per annum, as included in your rates. 

Reasons for high usage typically include business use, small farming/agricultural activities or swimming pools. A water leak on your property could also contribute to high water usage. If this invoice is unexpected, it could be an indication that you are losing water from a leak on your property. Contact a plumber to get the leak repaired promptly and then our Finance team on 06 857 8060. We can investigate whether the invoice can be reversed.

Water meters will be in your water toby box, which is a box near your property boundary with a blue lid. If you are struggling to locate this box, you can phone Council and we will be able to help you.

If you are unsure about the location of your meter, please call us and we will advise you where it is. For the rural meters, these are usually identified by a blue marker. For more details on how to find and read your water meter, refer to our Water Metering Practice Note WAT02.

High users of water could include businesses, small farming/agricultural activities and homeowners with a swimming pool. A water leak on your property could also contribute to high water usage. If you do receive an unexpected water invoice from us, it could be an indication that you are losing water from a leak on your property. Contact a plumber to get the leak repaired promptly and then our Finance team on 06 857 8060; we can investigate whether the invoice can be reversed.

If you do receive an unexpected water invoice from us, it could be an indication that you have a leak somewhere on your property and you are losing water. If this is the case, get the leak repaired promptly and contact our Finance team on 06 857 8060 and we can investigate whether the invoice can be reversed. For more details, refer to our policy Remission of Water Meter Rates Attributable to Water Leaks Policy (page 7).

If you suspect you have a water leak, you should contact your local plumber to investigate it. If the leak is on your side of the property boundary then it is your responsibility to fix it. After repairing the leak, contact our Finance team on 06 857 8060 and we can investigate whether the invoice can be reversed. For more details refer to our policy, Remission of Water Meter Rates Attributable to Water Leaks Policy (page 7).

The only information that is collected is the water meter read, which tells CHBDC the water consumption/usage between reads.  

The Water Supply Bylaw gives Council the ability to meter usage of high water users or to align with water sustainability outcomes.  

If your property has had repairs recently or upgrades completed nearby, Council may take this opportunity to install a meter, which means some properties will have water meters while others do not. All new connections to our water network will have a water meter installed. Our long-term goal is to have universal water metering so that everyone who is connected to our water network has a water meter.  

There is no reduction in rates for households that use less water than the allocated 300 cubic metres but we encourage everyone to preserve this precious resource wherever possible. Freshwater is a finite resource – we’ve got to look after it. If we take out more than we need or if we don’t protect it, the whole environment is affected, both above and below ground. So, it’s our responsibility to keep that balance right.

Drinking water also has a carbon footprint. It takes energy to UV disinfect the water and to pump it up to storage reservoirs on hills. Minimising usage also minimises energy use.

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