Water by Agreement

Under section 124(7) of the Water Act 1989, the Corporation can provide water to a customer that falls outside the guidelines of the Customer Service Code / Charter. This may be due to the property being outside a water district, supplied directly off a trunk main, supplied by a private extension or required pressure or quality cannot be guaranteed. Such water supply is by mutual Agreement and as such, a separate written Agreement is entered into.

One or more of the following 4 categories may apply to any one property at any time:

Category 1:  Properties outside Water District.
Category 2:  Properties connected to a trunk or distribution main.
Category 3:  Properties connected to a private extension.
Category 4:  Properties not elsewhere classified that have pressure or quality

Water By Agreement Categorisation

Category 1. Property outside Water district:

  • The Authority must not provide a service outside its district without the approval of the Minister.
  • The Authority does not possess a complete set of Water district plans.
  • Under the Water Act 1958 water districts were created for each Authority which established the boundary of their operation. Urban and Rural districts within the Water districts were also created to reflect different reticulation systems. With the advent of the Water Act 1989 reference to “water districts” means the total area of operation of an authority and properties which were previously outside an urban or a rural district may now be considered within a water district for the purpose of this category.
  • Some judgement may have to be exercised for properties considered to be outside a district where plans are not available.

Category 2. Properties connected to a trunk or distribution main:

a) A TRUNK MAIN is a water main which conveys water (generally untreated) from a Reservoir or stream to a treatment plant or downstream storage facility,
b) A DISTRIBUTION MAIN conveys water from the treatment plant or downstream storage facility to the reticulation system

It is proposed to classify all connections from these two types of water mains as WBA’s, even though in some cases they may have good supplies, for the following reasons;

  • Uniformity across Authority,
  • may be untreated or partially untreated supplies,
  • generally in isolated areas or difficult terrain so that repair time frames are extended,
  • May be subject to varying methods of operation (ie. fed back from service basins etc.)
  • Authority may wish to restrict flow through these mains from time to time for various reasons. eg. drought/restrictions, maintenance works, pressure problems,
  • Could be growth factors which place extra load on previously unused capacity,
  • Treatment facility problems which could require feeding from a downstream service basin,
  • Remoteness may affect or extend out normal maintenance procedures such as flushing, meter reading, inspections, location of leaks etc.

Category 3. Property connected to a private extension:

  • The Authority is not allowing any new private extensions. Existing private extensions are deemed temporary (adopted policy),
  • Many private extensions are not suitably maintained by the responsible parties,
  • Private extensions can supply more than 1 property thus there are or could be disputes over responsibility,
  • breaks can occur in private extensions that effect the water quality and quantity which are beyond the Authority’s control.

Category 4. Properties not elsewhere classified that have pressure or quality problems:

It is not intended that this category remove the Authority’s obligations under the Customer contract/Licence. In some areas however there will be supplies to some properties which don’t have a formal capital works program identified in the business plan as yet to allow a guaranteed supply or the costs to provide a guaranteed supply are not economically feasible.

Properties fitting this category include some areas of the reticulation systems that are subject to significant pressure drops during times of high draw off, flushing , low basin/standpipe levels or because of being fed from unsuitably sized mains.

There may also be properties on untreated supplies within the district but marginally outside town boundaries where it is impractical to rectify the situation in the short term.

Supplies to properties in this category should be under regular review and updated as soon as possible.

It may be more practical in some circumstances, if upgrading cannot readily occur, that the Authority consider removal of tapping and waiving the property charges which can be enforced under the Act.