New ‘town to tank’ water service makes it easier for Whangaparaoa residents to connect to the public water network

We're making it easier for Whangaparaoa residents with rain tanks to connect to the public water network by introducing a lower-cost connection option. The new ‘town to tank’ connection allows eligible households to pay a reduced infrastructure growth charge for a low-flow, metered connection that can be used as needed to top up a rain tank.

Chief customer officer Amanda Singleton says customers who take up this option will benefit from the same level of security with their water supply as customers on a full connection.

“Our town to tank service offers peace of mind for customers who want to remain mostly self-sufficient but would rather not have the stress of monitoring tank levels and possibly facing long wait times for tanker deliveries,” she says.

“We’re lowering the barrier to getting a water connection by offering a reduced-flow service at a reduced price. A flow rate of between 2 and 8 litres per minute means a tank can be topped up over a few days.”

To be eligible for this connection, residents need to be connected to the wastewater network, located close to the existing water network and have rain tanks that hold at least 20,000 litres.

The one-off connection and infrastructure growth charge for this service is $2449.50 (including GST). A full connection costs $8805. Once connected, monthly fixed and volumetric charges apply. To check if your property is eligible and see more details on charges, search ‘town to tank’ on our website. Wer'e also opening three new filling stations this summer to improve the service to water carriers and, therefore, their customers.

“Last summer, in the midst of the drought, there was unprecedented demand for water deliveries,” Singleton says. “This peak demand can put strain on our water networks and lead to long wait times for both the tanker operators and their customers waiting for water. It also poses a safety risk for the water carriers due to the number of truck movements at our filling stations.

“This summer, we’ll be going from 11 filling stations to 14, with new stations set to open in Albany, Huapai and Orewa. This will help water carriers to serve their customers in a timely manner, while also reducing the health and safety risks at filling stations.

“We are also improving the way we communicate with water carriers. With a dedicated account manager service, we’ll be giving timely notifications in the event we have to close a station to maintain supply to our customers, or if there is a fault in the network.”

The price we charge at filling stations will increase after the summer peak, from $1.386 to $3.90+GST. This price increase takes effect from 1 March 2021.

“These changes allow us to provide a fit-for-purpose service while ensuring our connected customers are not unduly subsidising rural and coastal communities,” Singleton says.

“The costs of our filling stations have been heavily subsidised for some time, so the price increase is about recovering the true cost of providing this service. It means the cost of 10,000 litres of water at our filling stations will increase from $13.86 to $39 +GST from 1 March 2021.”

Singleton is urging all customers with rain tanks to weigh up the options available to them this summer to ensure their water supply is resilient.

“We want all Aucklanders to have a safe and resilient water supply, and that includes our rural and coastal communities who primarily rely on rain tanks,” she says.

“If you’ve rarely needed water top-ups you may be happy to keep your existing tank and be prepared to order a water delivery as needed.

“Another option to consider is increasing your storage capacity by installing another rain tank.”

Auckland Council recommends households not connected to the water network have enough storage to last at least two months. For a household of three people or more, the council recommends a minimum of 30,000 to 50,000 litres of water storage.

“For eligible households on the Hibiscus Coast, the town to tank connection may be an appealing option,” Singleton says. “And for people wanting a safe, reliable and resilient water supply that requires little thought or effort, there is always the option of a standard connection to our water network.”