These notes, comments and advice are provided in good faith to assist owners of lifestyle homes and sections get the best from their available water and alert them to some of the issues that may arise.
It is each owners' responsibility to ensure their on-site installation is professionally installed to meet all standards.
TKWA cannot accept any liability arising from this advice. However, comments and feedback are invited where other options are available. Contact us

Water for homes

Welcome to our District and Community

First, where in Te Kauwhata is your new home or section?

If it is located on one of the following roads:

Churchill East (Northern end from the Pumphouse to Hall Road intersection), Hall, Stewart, Paddy, Plantation, Rodda, Te Wheoro, Te Wharepu, Hampton Downs (and side streets), Wayside (and side streets), Vineyard (and side streets), Travers (and side streets), Orchard, Moorfield, Te Kauwhata (above Invivo's winery).

Then...

Congratulations!

You are fortunate your property probably has the ability to enjoy an unrestricted supply of water. If you also have access to the WDC potable supply, by clever design you will save construction costs and reduce ongoing water bills and associated costs. We believe this dual water option is unique in New Zealand.
Note: If your address is not included in the above list, please contact us to check the possibility of a future connection.

Helpful Things to Know

  1. How Much Water Do We Use?
    • Based on averages, domestic water consumption ranges from 180 to 250 litres per day per person. Teenagers will push those numbers up!!
    • This excludes all water used outside the house - that's extra!!!!
    • In summer, this usage is typically 20% higher.
    • Don't forget to include in your calculations visitors and guests staying over.
    • A breakdown of typical household# use is:
      • Toilets 20%
      • Kitchen including drinking water 17%
      • Bathroom (bath, shower, etc.) 33%
      • Laundry 26%
      • Other (Leaks, etc.) 4%
      # Data from Hamilton City
    • So how long will the water in your tank last? Though your tank has a nominal storage capacity of 25,000 litres, in real terms you only have available about 22,000 litres.
    • Summer usage assuming 300 litres per day per person:
      Persons Your water will last for days
      1 73
      2 37
      3 24
      4 18
      5 15
  2. Our Local Climate:
    • The North Waikato has a propensity for long dry summers that are sometimes declared droughts. From November through to April (that's 6 months) there is often very little effective rainfall - drizzle doesn't count! Here's how much
    • The Te Kauwhata "ridge" running eastwards from the Waikato River between Rangiriri and Hampton Downs also creates a drier microclimate.
    • Warm days combined with the prevailing westerly winds rapidly dry out the soils. This severely limits growth of new plantings, rapidly turns your lawns brown and creates issues in your garden. The soils will take on the consistency of concrete! Without supplementary water, die back of even mature plantings can occur.
    • If you install a pool then there will be material evaporation losses.
    • All of these factors can be alleviated by the smart use of your water resources.
  3. The TKWA Water Supply:
    • This water is not potable without additional treatment!!
    • It is an "outdoor" water supply - just think about washing the cars, cleaning the boat, enjoying fresh vegetables from the garden, the kids playing on a green lawn in summer, filling the pool, playing with the water blaster, water for the animals, an orchard, hydroponics, anything that uses water, etc., etc. If it uses or needs water, this is the answer.
    • This water requires treatment to ensure it is safe to drink. Refer to the "Treatment" notes below.
    • The water is sourced from the Waikato River at our pump house on Churchill East Road. It is filtered, pumped up to the Hall Road header tank and then gravity fed through 40km of reticulation. This means the quality of the water varies both with each season and the state of the river.
    • The water is filtered to 135microns.
    • This results in a residual sediment load consisting mainly of very fine clays - the main reason the water is discoloured.
    • A very small dose of chlorine (1ppm) is added to inhibit algae growth inside the pipes. This has virtually no effect on improving the quality of the water.
    • The water pressure at the mains is usually >50psi (>3bar). That is a very useful pressure.
    • Repeat - This water is not potable!!
  4. Water Entitlement and Connections:
    • Before you can get a connection (i.e. a meter), the property must have an entitlement to access this water.
    • The "Daily Supply Entitlement" (known as DSE) is expressed in cubic meters per day starting at 2.00m3 for lifestyle sections and increasing for larger properties.
    • Having DSE means in terms of the Rules you are automatically a "Member" of the Association whether or not you have a connection or use TKWA water. Check the rules
    • A DSE of 2.00m3 is a supply of 2,000 litres each day or 182,000 litres every 3 months - the billing period. (Most large plastic storage tanks hold about 25,000 litres so that is more than 7 full tanks.)
    • The DSE belongs to the property. Additional DSE can purchased with a one-off payment but the total DSE permitted for any property is limited by its size. Our pricing
    • Special arrangements (i.e. leasing additional DSE and bulk pricing) can be made to assist seasonally large volume users eg: Those owners wishing to irrigate orchards, crops or pasture.
    • After your DSE is verified, a connection can be made. A standard connection involves the installation of a turnout from the mains, an isolating valve, 25mm meter and box. Our pricing
    • A connection can usually be made in less than 14 working days of the confirmation/invoice unless additional installation works are required.
    • Note 1: In some recent subdivisions, the DSE and connection has been included in the cost of the section. The meter will be installed once you have made contact with us. Send an email to TKWA to check whether this includes your property. Contact us
    • Note 2: There are a few sections resulting from older subdivisions which have existing DSE. Unfortunately, these cannot readily be connected because of the distance from the mains.
    • Once you start taking water, you become a "User" and will be billed every quarter.
  5. Planting Your Garden:
    • Te Kauwhata's warm and generally mild climate is ideal for landscaping and creating an attractive and productive garden. This will provide a valuable boost to your property's value.
    • However, if you prefer to live in a desert with a zero care garden and brown lawns skip this section.
    • With a care and thoughtfulness, shelter trees together with ornamentals and fruit trees can be quickly established. Similarly, with a little attention and TLC, a vegetable garden and flower beds will flourish.
    • P.S. Avoid plants that are really salt tender - they can sometimes be badly affected by the occasional westerly gale!
    • If you don't already have one, install your garden irrigation network as soon as possible. Notes:
      1. Plan a layout before you start.
      2. Delivered water pressure will reduce because of:
        • Using undersized pipes to deliver the water around your section,
        • Distance from your connection because of friction, and
        • Having too many offtakes (sprinklers, drippers, etc.) installed.
      3. Therefore, use 25mm ID pipe for the main leads from the connection to each zone. Then reduce to 12mm pipes for the offtakes - spray heads and drippers. Using only 12mm might lead to a disappointing outcome.
      4. Create separate zones around your section to maintain higher pressure and make maintenance and operation easier. You will use more pipe but the result will be worthwhile.
        • Each outdoor tap should be a separate "zone" to ensure maximum pressure.
    • Should you decide to water part of your lawn with pop-up spray heads, limit the number of heads to 3 per zone to maintain pressure and maximise coverage. Guaranteed green lawn every summer!

Before Building your New Home
House Design and Water Planning

  1. Prior to Construction:
    • Arrange for a TKWA connection before any building on the site commences. This means your builder will have water and you can confidently start planting your section. (Link to planting)
    • If the concepts outlined below are incorporated as part of your construction, the additional costs will be more than off-set by the savings outlined.
    • If you have TKWA supply you do not need a separate tank for "firefighting". That's a waste!!
    • The TKWA reticulation has no flow restrictions or restraints. You get unimpeded supply 24/7. The WDC potable supply is often delivered with "trickle feed" which means you must have an external storage tank, pump, etc.
    • You can use the TKWA water directly from your connection without the need for storage tanks, pumps, etc.
    • House Design: For the best water utilisation and savings, ensure the following are directly plumbed directly into the TKWA reticulation - additional filtration is not required:
      1. All outside taps,
      2. All toilets - these often can use more than 20% of your water consumption.
    • Potential Savings:
      1. The savings available depend on how you utilise the resources available to you.
      2. If you are just using the TKWA water for "outdoor" purposes, no tank or pump is necessary.
      3. Your future maintenance and operating costs will be less because of a reduced load on the pump.
      4. Your ongoing cost of water will be less.
      5. Running out of water over summer means buying a tanker of water to top up - that is very, very expensive water!! And there might be delays with the delivery.

Buying an Existing Home
House Design and Water Planning

  1. Prior to Construction:
    • Arrange for a TKWA connection before any building on the site commences. This means your builder will have water and you can confidently start planting your section. (Link to planting)
    • If the concepts outlined below are incorporated as part of your construction, the additional costs will be more than off-set by the savings outlined.
    • If you have TKWA supply you do not need a separate tank for "firefighting". That's a waste!!
    • The TKWA reticulation has no flow restrictions or restraints. You get unimpeded supply 24/7. The WDC potable supply is often delivered with "trickle feed" which means you must have an external storage tank, pump, etc.
    • You can use the TKWA water directly from your connection without the need for storage tanks, pumps, etc.
    • House Design: For the best water utilisation and savings, ensure the following are directly plumbed directly into the TKWA reticulation - additional filtration is not required:
      1. All outside taps,
      2. All toilets - these often can use more than 20% of your water consumption.
    • Potential Savings:
      1. The savings available depend on how you utilise the resources available to you.
      2. If you are just using the TKWA water for "outdoor" purposes, no tank or pump is necessary.
      3. Your future maintenance and operating costs will be less because of a reduced load on the pump.
      4. Your ongoing cost of water will be less.
      5. Running out of water over summer means buying a tanker of water to top up - that is very, very expensive water!! And there might be delays with the delivery.

General Advice (hopefully helpful) about tanks, filters, etc.

  1. Installation:
    • The installation of the tanks and pumps needs to be undertaken by an experienced tradesman who knows what they are doing with tank supply. Some urban plumbers do not understand the issues.
    • It is recommended all filters and pumps and associated pipe work be mounted outside the house/garage. Having them fitted inside the garage creates noise and invites a flood!
    • Lay all external pipe work at least 400mm below final ground level and place blue marker tape along the pipe at 250mm deep because:
      1. Spades have a lot to answer for!
      2. In spite of your best intentions, you will forget where your water lines are!! Fact.
    • Install an isolating valve (a ball valve tap) for each "zone" and mark the location with a visible box/peg. Thrashing around in the dark trying to turn off the water is not good for the blood pressure!! TKWA can provide boxes like the one at your meter for $45 inc GST.
    • Potential Safety Issues:
      1. Before climbing into a partially empty tank, remove the lid for at least 2 hours to ensure clean air is present.
      2. Ensure the ladder being used is at least 500mm longer than the distance from the edge of the tank to the manhole.
      3. Remember the floor of a plastic tank will be very slippery.
      4. Always have a second person on the roof to keep watch.
    • House Design: For the best water utilisation and savings, ensure the following are directly plumbed directly into the TKWA reticulation - additional filtration is not required:
      1. All outside taps,
      2. All toilets - these often can use more than 20% of your water consumption.
    • Potential Savings:
      1. The savings available depend on how you utilise the resources available to you.
      2. If you are just using the TKWA water for "outdoor" purposes, no tank or pump is necessary.
      3. Your future maintenance and operating costs will be less because of a reduced load on the pump.
      4. Your ongoing cost of water will be less.
      5. Running out of water over summer means buying a tanker of water to top up - that is very, very expensive water!! And there might be delays with the delivery.
  2. External Storage Tank(s):
    • Ensure the off-take lines out of the tank are more than 200mm higher than the floor. This allows sediments and any foreign matter to collect on the floor and remain undisturbed by inflows.
    • If the tank is above ground, install in the floor a 50mm flushing point and valve to enable easy cleaning. Alternatively, if the base is below ground level, a swimming pool cleaner lowered through the roof hatch will clean the tank very effectively.
    • If the tank is below or semi underground, carefully consider the architecture of the pipes to ensure easy future maintenance and avoid the need to get in a digger to excavate.
    • Clean your tank(s) on a regular basis.
    • Ensure the supply lines into the tank are "broken" or have a non-return valve installed to prevent reverse syphoning occurring.
    • If you have 2 tanks do not (repeat: do not) have an open pipe between them - any leak will drain both!! Result - no water!! And it complicates any maintenance on either tank.
    • Potential Savings: If you have WDC supply and you decide to install 2 tanks, reserve the first one solely for potable water and use the other for rainwater. By not mixing the two, you retain the quality of the town supply.
    • If you don't have WDC supply, and you decide to install 2 tanks, reserve the first one solely for the rainwater water. Use the second tank for any overflow rainwater that can be topped up with the TKWA supply as required.
      • Use the rainwater first as it requires less filtration.
      • The second tank will allow a significant proportion of the sediments to settle reducing the load on the filters.
  3. Primary Filters:
    • Prior to the rainwater and TKWA supply being finally treated, install two large 20micron paper fillers in parallel. This is not necessary for any water being used outdoors.
    • This ensures a continuous supply is available when one filter needs cleaning. You will notice this when the water pressure inside drops. Just switch the tap to use the other filter.
    • The filters should last at least 5 cycles if properly cleaned. This is done by removing the filter and while it is wet gently hose the sediments off the pleats onto the lawn. A good Saturday morning job!
    • Never use high pressure to blast the filters as this embeds the sediments into the filter material materially reducing its effectiveness!
    • Never let a dirty filter dry out before cleaning it!!
    • Never use a torn filter.
    • Have a spare filter on hand! Always!
  4. UV Treatment:
    • A good UV filter properly installed and maintained provides the best treatment to remove bacterial contaminants from your water.
    • Professional installation is important to ensure effective operation and safe water.
    • Annual maintenance is recommended.
    • Note: UV filters require an external power source - this is easily fitted at time of construction or utilise the power point for the pump.
    • The installed cost for a basic household UV system should be less than $2,500.
  5. Secondary Filtration in the Kitchen:
    • Some people install an additional over-sink 1micron activated carbon filter. These provide a low flow of very high quality drinking water.
    • The carbon filter cartridge loses its effectiveness over time. Suppliers tend to suggest an annual replacement.
  6. Maintenance
    • Clean all filters on a regular basis. Replace when necessary. To avoid Sod's Law, have spares on hand!!
    • Where ever the water from TKWA settles (toilet cisterns, hot water cylinder, external tanks, etc.) over time these will need flushing to remove the accumulation of sediments.

Here is hoping this commentary has been helpful. We welcome your feedback.

Lastly, for charging and other relevant information please refer to our web site.

14A Main Road, Te Kauwhata, Waikato, New Zealand. Mail PO Box 15 Te Kauwhata. Free-Phone 0800 TKWATER Email water@tkwa.co.nz