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Water supply and treatment

We are committed to the ongoing management, maintenance and improvement of the drinking water supply catchments and water treatment operations to provide high quality water to Tauranga residents.

The water that Council supplies to your home comes from two spring-fed streams, the Tautau and the Waiorohi. The water is treated with microfiltration technology at two water treatment plants, Oropi and Joyce Road.

Tauranga uses an average of 43.7 million litres of water per day. In summer this can rise to 58 million litres per day. To help keep up with the demands of a growing city, a third microfiltration water treatment plant is being built along the Waiāri Stream in Te Puke.


Tauranga City's drinking water is treated using microfilters that trap and extract dirt and tiny micro-organisms like giardia and cryptosporidium. The microfiltration process uses millions of tiny straws that are less than 1mm across.  

The raw water enters the tubes and passes from the outside to the inside of the straws through tiny holes.  The clean water passes out through the core of the straws and is chlorinated before being put in the treated water reservoir. Treating water this way means the amount of chemical needed to treat the water is minimised. 

Chlorine is added at the end of the treatment process to maintain the quality of the water on its journey across the city to homes and businesses. The dose of chlorine that is required is very small, 1 litre of chlorine per million litres of water.

Joyce Road water treatment plant

The original Joyce Road plant was opened in 1958 and was replaced in November 1997. It was built to serve the Mount Maunganui Borough. The new Joyce Road treatment plant was the first in New Zealand to use microfiltration technology for public water supply. Supplied by water from the Tautau Stream, the plant can produce up to 33,000 cubic metres of water a day.

Oropi water treatment plant

The Oropi water treatment plant was opened in 1957 and was upgraded in 2003 to microfiltration technology. From 1910 to 1957 water was taken from the Waiorohi Stream, chlorinated and then gravity-fed down to the town. Rebuilding the treatment plant at the same site enabled the intake and other structures to be retained. The Oropi Plant can produce up to 30,000 cubic metres a day.  

Waiāri water treatment plant

Construction of the new processing plant along the Waiāri Stream commenced in 2018 and is expected to be completed in late 2022. The project was successfully deferred for at least 10 years thanks to the introduction of water meters in 2000, but summer demands together with the growth of the city are exceeding the capacity limits of the Oropi and Joyce Road plants. 

Waiāri Water treatment plant

Water Treatment Quality policy

Our aim is to provide and maintain the most efficient and safe water treatment network for all customers at an affordable cost whilst meeting Council's levels of service.

Water Treatment Staff and Management are committed to:

  • Creating a work environment that is both productive and enjoyable, whilst achieving measurable quality results.
  • Complying with relevant legislation, consents, regulations and policies to provide water quality that meets the Drinking-Water Standards, national governance requirements, consent conditions and Council’s levels of service.
  • Using the best practical processes to ensure continued quality of water is provided and identifying opportunities for improvement.
  • Being responsive to customers and stakeholders, while continually providing a consistent, friendly and professional service. 
  • Ensuring resources are available, both infrastructure and personnel, to deliver our quality objectives.

We shall provide a framework that:

  • Regularly reviews objectives with the view of improving the effectiveness of the quality management system.
  • Enables staff to take ownership of the day to day work practices.
  • Provides a safe work environment where continuous improvement is encouraged.
  • Considers quality, environmental impact and sustainability of our work alongside the operational and financial aspects.
  • Educates staff on the importance of water supply and their role in the quality management system.
  • Manages change and embraces opportunities for continual improvement.

Last Reviewed: 05/07/2021

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