3 Waters

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Water is our most precious natural resource and one that is under increasing pressure.

In urban areas there is a year round ban on sprinklers between 9am and 5pm.

There are four levels of water restrictions.

Level 1: A public notice is issued warning people they need to conserve water

Level 2: Use of hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems restricted to alternate days between 7pm and 9pm.

Level 3: Total ban on unattended hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems. Handheld hoses can be used only between 7pm and 9pm on alternative days.

Level 4: Total ban on unattended hoses, sprinklers, garden irrigation systems and handheld hoses. Car washing by handheld hose prohibited.

There are no water restrictions in place at present.

What if there is a problem?

Getting a new connection

Water quality and standards

We have three urban water supply sources. These are:


Cooper’s Wells and Jacobstown Wells.

These well fields are separated by the Mataura River and are located in the river’s flood plain. During emergencies or dry periods, we have consent to pump water from the Mataura River to artificially recharge the aquifer at both wells.


The Pleura Stream is the primary source for Mataura’s water supply. The Waikana Stream is a secondary source used in times of high demand or dry periods. The Mataura River is used to supply water to the treatment plant in emergencies or extremely dry periods.


There is one rural water supply scheme – the Otama Rural Water Supply Scheme. This scheme is managed by us on behalf of the Otama Rural Water Supply Scheme Committee.

The water is sourced from a bore at Pyramid and  is not treated, therefore is classified as for stock use only. The consent has a maximum water take of 2600 cubic metres a day.

The Otama Rural Water Supply Scheme consists of

  • 239km of pipelines
  • 264 rural connections

You will find more information about how we manage the scheme here 

Cooper’s Wells

Cooper’s Wells are located about 5km north-east of Gore, surrounded by a dairy farm. They are the main water source for Gore, providing on average 2,600 cubic metres of water per day. We have consent to take up to 5,000 cubic metres per day.

Water from the wells is pumped to the East Gore Water Treatment Plant before being distributed to East Gore, as well as being pumped across the river to properties on lower lying land in Central Gore and West Gore.

Over the years the Council has looked for alternative water sources but Cooper’s Wells remains the main water source for Gore, now and into the foreseeable future. To protect this vital resource we decided to designate the area around the wells.

Read about the Cooper’s Wells Water Protection Project.

Jacobstown Wells

The Jacobstown Wells are located in North Gore at the start of the Waimea Highway. There are two wells and on average 1,200 cubic metres is pumped daily.  We have consent to take up to 3,000 cubic metres per day.

The water is pumped to the Hilbre Avenue Water Treatment Plant where it is treated before being distributed to West Gore properties.

Pleura Stream

The Pleura Stream is located to the East of Mataura on Cameron Road. An average of 1,080 cubic metres is used daily and the Council has consent to take up to 1,500 cubic meters per day. The water is piped from a dam on the Pleura Stream to the Mataura Water Treatment Plant where it is treated before being distributed to Mataura properties.

Waikana Stream

The Waikana Stream is located to the east of Mataura, near Crawford Road.

During low flows from the Pleura Stream, water is pumped from the Waikana Stream to the Mataura Water Treatment Plant to supplement our water supply. We have consent to take up to 600 cubic metres per day.

What if there is a problem?

On Your Property – a leaking internal house pipe or any pipe upstream of your boundary tap on your property is your responsibility to fix.   You need to contact your plumber to find the problem.

On the Council’s property – if you notice a leak on public property such as a footpath, road or park, please contact the Council as soon as possible. 

A new connection 

An application for building consent to build a new urban dwelling may require a new connection to the water service.

A piped service connection application is required for a new dwelling. This includes wastewater, water supply and stormwater connections. The application fee is $185.

Water Quality and Standards

The Gore and Mataura Water Treatment Plants treat the water to comply with the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards. The standards’ guidelines ensure all potable water is safe to drink.

We monitor and carry out weekly testing of plant and water samples to ensure the drinking water meets national standards.

The Council has produced a Public Health Risk Management Plan that identifies the potential health risks to the consumers of the drinking water supply.

For more information the NZ Water and Wastes Association has produced this interesting booklet: The Story of Drinking Water [PDF, 5.4 MB].

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 F: 03 209 0357 E: info@goredc.govt.nz