Skip to content

Rural supply

Role of Taumata Arowai in rural water supplies

Taumata Arowai will work with and provide practical technical advice to rural drinking water suppliers to ensure they are aware of their obligations to provide safe drinking water. Under the Water Services Act 2021, there is an alternative option for certain supply types to meet compliance obligations, this is referred to as Acceptable Solutions.

You can find more information on Acceptable Solutions and the role of Taumata Arowai in rural water supplies here.

Rural supply

Rural properties are required to have a rainwater tank with a minimum size of 22,000 L or equivalent of at least 48 hours storage, whichever is greater. 

Rainwater tanks provide storage for non-drinking water use and help create a more sustainable water supply. Rain tanks have two functions;  

  • they reduce the total volume of stormwater which runs off your site, and;  

  • reduce the demand for potable water from the Council water supply system. 

New urban premises in the Waikato District are not required to have a rainwater tank under the Water Supply Bylaw.  


Maintaining tank water quality

Poorly-maintained tanks and roof catchment systems increase the risk to public health as they can significantly lower water quality.  

Preventative measures and corrective actions for safe rainwater harvesting include: 

Tanks and building consents

A rain tank will require a building consent if:

  • the tank will supply roof water to the house
  • the Council mains will be plumbed to the tank (eg, backup supply)
  • the tank exceeds 35,000L
  • the tank exceeds 2,000L and is more than two metres above ground or
  • the tank exceeds 500L and is more than four metres above ground.

Unless the tank exceeds the size limits above, installing a rain tank for garden irrigation does not require a building consent.

These criteria apply to both new premises and when retrofitting a tank to an existing property. If a consent is required, it can be included as part of the overall building consent.

Find out more about building consents.

Stormwater attenuation tanks

If you need one of these, it is possible to combine the rainwater tank and stormwater attenuation tank, but the volume of the tank needed should be the sum of the two levels for each function being handled by the combined tank. The top part of the tank drains quickly to buffer storm flows and the bottom saves water for recycling.



What happens if my water storage tank(s) run dry?

Council will arrange to have the flow restrictor removed for a short time to let the tank refill. If your tank runs dry during summer due to high consumption, we suggest you increase your water storage capacity and check for any potential leaks. 
What if I need additional water?

If you still require additional water for use i.e., filling your pool or irrigating your gardens, you can contact a water carrier to top up your tanks at your own cost.

Can the flow restrictor be removed?

A flow restrictor should not be removed by anyone other than Council when an application is lodged. A temporary flow restrictor removal may be granted for building purposes with the following conditions:

  • A building consent application must be in place
  • A fee is paid to cover the cost of the removal
  • The restrictor is removed for a maximum of four months only. During this time, the property’s tank and pump system should be installed.

What should I do if the flow restrictor has been removed?

If your restrictor has been removed by someone unauthorised by council, you should contact us on 0800 492 452 to arrange a replacement.