Councils working together to combat water theft

27 November 2015

Three local councils have formed an action group to identify and prevent companies and individuals from illegally taking water from fire hydrants.

Waikato District Council, Hamilton City Council and Waipa District Council staff are working together on the initiative, which has a dual focus on education and enforcement.

Photographs of trucks illegally taking water have been circulated to councils, and in one recent incident some Waipa residents had no water after rogue water takers drained the network in one street.

“Waikato District Council allows tankers to take water from hydrants throughout the district provided they have a registered hydrant standpipe,” says Waikato District Council Service Delivery General Manager, Tim Harty.

“People who don’t have a registered hydrant standpipe and illegally take water, cause risks to public health, affect security of water pressure for ratepayers and potentially restrict access for fire-fighting.

“This campaign will look to make it fairer for businesses who are paying for water from the official take points and who are essentially competing with others who make no contribution to the costs of supplying the water taken from the hydrants,” Mr Harty said.

The campaign will include a wider awareness component and will encourage the public to report any illegal water takes, particularly during water restriction periods during the expected challenging summer period.

Each council has slightly different systems and procedures, however all three Councils have a Bylaw prohibiting the unauthorised drawing of water from fire hydrants. Letters are being sent to known water carriers in the three-council region and council staff are monitoring problematic sites.

For more information please contact:

Narelle Barrowcliffe
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633 Extn: 5649
027 836 2401
narelle.barrowcliffe@waidc.govt.nz