Water Use and Wastage
This page details the Bylaw restriction on water use in Porirua City, and offers hints and tips about conserving water in your home and garden. There are also two YouTube videos on maintenance of toilet cisterns and tap washers.
All care must be taken to conserve water to avoid unnecessary wastage, which is of ongoing concern particularly during the drier seasons.
View the Live Water map from Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Replacing leaking washers
Instructions on how to fix your leaking toilet cistern (via YouTube, 2.36 mins)
Instructions on how to fix your leaking tap washer (via YouTube, 4.07 mins)
Water is paid for by ratepayers and metered users
Greater Wellington (Regional Council) supplies drinking water to Porirua, Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt cities.
Water users meet the cost of this supply by:
- Paying a fixed annual charge on their property rates; or
- Paying on metered charge basis where they have water meters installed.
Property owners responsibilities
Council's supply responsibility ends at the water "Toby" valve generally located on your property boundary where your water supply connects to the public water main.
Thereafter you are responsible for maintaining the water services on your property and ensuring the prompt repair of leaks and the prevention of water wastage.
Fix all water leaks on your property promptly. Note: A leak of 2 drips per second can amount to 100 litres (a bath full) wasted per week.
Water meters can be installed
You may opt to have a water meter installed and pay for your water usage in this manner rather than paying the annual water charge with your rates.
Your meter will be read and you will be invoiced quarterly for water used.
If you want more information on the use of water meters, call us on (04) 237 5089 or visit us during normal business hours.
The use of hoses and the watering of gardens is subject to the restrictions imposed by Clause 17.58 of the Porirua City Council General Bylaw 1991 which is reproduced here in full for your information:
Hoses shall be under the immediate personal care of some competent person at all times when in operation.
The use of hoses and the watering of gardens is subject to the restrictions imposed by Clause 17.58 of the Porirua City Council general Bylaw 1991 which is reproduced here in full for your information:
17.58.1 Hoses shall be under the immediate personal care of some competent person at all times when in operation.
17.58.2 Garden hosing, limited to one hose per household is permitted at any time provided the hose is held in the hand.
Either one automatic watering device or one fixed hose per household may be used on alternate days between the hours of 6:00 am and 8:00 am and 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm as follows even number houses on even days of the month, odd numbered houses on odd days of the month for the period of Daylight Savings Time; provided that in no circumstances the water is wastefully used.
17.58.3 [The garden hosing restrictions contained in clause 17.58.2 shall not apply to households that have installed an authorised water meter provided that nothing in this clause shall exempt the persons of a household which has a water meter installed from complying with the provisions of clause 17.53.1 of this bylaw which requires waste and improper use of water to be prevented or shall exempt them from any other part of this bylaw.]
Note: At times of drought or water shortage more specific restrictions may be imposed.
Water Supply Bylaw
Water use in Porirua City is managed under the Porirua City Council General Bylaw 1991 Water Supply - Part 17.
The Bylaw applies at all times throughout the year and is enforced by Council Officers particularly during summer and prolonged dry seasons.
Water restrictions are publicly notified in community newspapers i.e. Kapi Mana News, The Dominion Post, local radio and television as appropriate in each case.
Council monitors water use and may take District Court action against persons breaching the bylaw.
To report a leaking toby or water wastage call us on phone (04) 237 5089 24 hours a day, or use our online Request for Service Form.
Hints on Gardening with Less Water
Summer and prolonged periods without rain can be hard on gardens when evaporation increases and the wind draws the water out of the soil and plants and blows it away.
Mulch acts like a sunscreen for gardens; cutting down evaporation by up to 70% so moisture stays in the soil longer and plants need less watering. It also slows weed growth, leaving you more time simply to enjoy your garden.
Following are some hints to help you maintain your garden while at the same time reducing water use and costs:
- Check soil moisture before watering. If your soil is moist at a level down to or beyond 10 centimetres below the surface, you do not need to water. Check every 4-7 days in dry weather and water only when required.
- When watering aim low and slow i.e., water close to the ground at a rate the soil can absorb. Plants take up moisture through their feeder roots and low slow watering is the best way to get the water to those roots.
- Watering by hand or using a well-designed irrigation system is best. Moveable sprinklers are the least effective means of watering a garden as they can waste a large amount of water e.g., in one hour a sprinkler can use as much water as a family of four uses in one day.
- If you use a sprinkler use it for no longer than 30 minutes at any one time. Install a timer and set it to a 30 minutes maximum. This will minimise water use and result in significant water saving.
- Established plants should require watering only weekly provided the water is able to soak into the ground.
- Preserve ground moisture in your garden by using mulch. This can reduce water evaporation from the soil by up to 70% by protecting your soil from the drying effects of both the sun and wind.
- Wood chips, bark, grass clippings, saw dust, compost or straw all make good mulch. Water the garden then spread the mulch evenly over the garden to a depth of at least 10 centimetres. Leave a gap around the base of trunks or main stems.
- For some mulches it may be necessary to spread soil conditioner or fertiliser i.e., blood and bone on the soil before adding the mulch. Discuss this with your garden centre first.
- When watering use a hose fitted with a trigger spray. This will allow you to instantly start and stop and direct the water flow to avoid wastage.
PCC Water Conservation measures
With water becoming an ever decreasing resource as population and demand grows, New Zealanders are fast becoming aware that we must as a country including individual regions and as individual consumers take a proactive role in measures we have control over to manage and conserve this precious resource.
In an effort to be at the forefront of the Community and lead by example, we have worked hard over the last few years to initiated and implement throughout its functions as a Council a large number of programmes to ensure we are managing this resource responsibly. Council realises that it is as much about being aware of our actions in relation to water use as much as it is about changing some of these entrenched habits ensure we managing what we have effectively and sustainably
Listed below is an example of some of our proactive initiatives:
1) Council has funded a water mains renewal programme throughout the city.
2) It has increased its leak detection programme on its network throughout the city.
3) Council has implemented a pressure reduction programme in areas where this can be managed effectively to reduce leakage.
4) A school education kits for schools in an effort to get the message over to the next generation.
5) Increased patrols to enforce the current Water Bylaw in regard to water restrictions over the summer months.
6) Parks and playing fields only watered in the early hours of the morning.
7) Ensuring Council looks at appropriate native trees species and plants that are reasonably drought resistant within our parks and reserves.
8) Ensuring grounds and gardens are well covered and mulched to avoid water loss and evaporation.
9) Encouraging customers to consider and install onsite rainwater tanks when buildings.
Links to more water information
Porirua City Council links: