Guidance notes to assist in applying for water supply service.

Residential connections

All residential connections are 15mm and each parcel of land is entitled to one water supply connection. The water connection fee covers the installation and supply of a standard 15mm connection and water meter at the property boundary. Any work required to connect the house to the new water connection is the responsibility of the applicant. All fees and charges are set annually by the Council.

Installation of the water meter and connection is normally completed within 10 working days from receipt of payment. Every effort will be made to install your new connection in the requested location, however this may not always be possible depending on existing services. Residential connections have low hazard backflow protection as part of the water connection assembly.

Commercial/Industrial connections

All commercial/industrial connections are supplied with an estimate that covers the installation of the water meter and if requested, the connection to the Council main. All connections (including 15mm) must be agreed to and approved by the Three Waters & Waste Unit via the Water Supply Application Approval Form (WS1a) and a stamped, approved plan showing the work required. The Council only allows authorised contractors to make the connection to the main.

Please note:

  • Any extension to the Council’s sub-mains or alteration to any Council reticulation is subject to approval from the Three Waters & Waste Unit and will be at the applicant’s expense.
  • Backflow prevention devices are to be installed to protect the City water supply from contamination. The water connection will not be installed until the Council has received confirmation from the applicant that the approved backflow prevention device has been installed. The Council’s contractors have been instructed not to install the water connection if the appropriate backflow protection has not been installed and any additional cost due to installation delays will be at the applicant’s expense.
  • The backflow prevention device is to be installed inside the boundary in private property at the point of supply as close as practical to the water meter. The hazard level of the backflow device is to be determined (by the Council) based on a risk assessment of the existing activities on site, though consideration will also be given to potential hazards created by future use of the property. If a high or medium hazard activity is identified, then an appropriate backflow prevention device will be required and the installation will require a Building Consent. Detailed information about backflow prevention can be found on the Council’s website ( Further advice on backflow requirements can be sought by emailing
  • The Council does not guarantee a constant supply of water and the applicant is requested to install adequate water storage to enable their business to continue in the event of a loss of mains supply. The New Zealand Building Code 2004 requires that buildings classified as Community Care are to have appropriate storage provided.


If a property is to be subdivided or if there is an intention to subdivide the property in the future, it is recommended that:

  • Separate water supply pipes are installed in common ground from each dwelling to the boundary in anticipation of the subdivision. Supply pipes may not run through one Lot to get to another, even if covered by an easement.
  • As part of the consent documentation, all new subdivisions are issued ‘Engineering Conditions’ that need to be followed.

Restricted supplies

If the connection requested is located outside the City’s normal reticulation system, the only available water connection will be a ‘Restricted’ supply. The Three Waters & Waste Unit will advise if this is the case. A restricted supply is the supply of a measured and limited amount of water to customers inside the City Council boundaries but outside areas of the capacity of the normal City reticulation system. A restricted supply has in-built backflow protection via the air-gap in the required storage tank and does not include a meter.

  • The existence of supply in an area does not guarantee a connection. Supply is limited to the current capacity of the system which at times can be fully allocated.
  • Restricted customers are required to have a storage tank. The tank should have a minimum storage capacity of 2,000 litres. The tank must also have air-gap separation. This air-gap will provide adequate backflow protection for the Council’s water supply. An air-gap shall be an unobstructed distance between the lowest opening of the water supply pipe into the tank which is to be located above the overflow pipe and the highest level of the overflow. The air-gap separation shall be greater than 50mm. It is recommended that the tank is located as close to the point of supply as possible.
  • Due to limited capacity in some small settlements on Banks Peninsula, all new water connections will be limited to 1 Unit which is equal to 1,000 litres per day.
  • The property owner may need to install a pump to deliver water at an appropriate pressure from the storage tank to the dwelling.

Fire Service connections

For commercial properties, the Council allows additional connections for the purpose of supplying water to a fire sprinkler system. Supplies to other processes including fire hydrants and fire hose reels are to be fed from the standard point of supply at the boundary and are to have a water meter and backflow protection fitted.

If your water connection application includes a Fire Service connection, an annual fee is required for the continued maintenance of this service. This fee will be billed annually on your rates account. The cost of this annual fee is on the Council’s website and in the Council’s Long Term Plan. Further information can be found by visiting Long Term and Annual Plans.

Excess water charges

The residential Excess Water Supply Targeted Rate applies to any single household with a water meter that uses, on average, more than 700 litres a day. Property owners in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula pay a fixed rate of $1.35 for every 1000 litres they use over the average limit. Most households are average water users and don’t use enough to receive an invoice. We read your water meter and invoice you for any excess water use on a quarterly basis (roughly every 90 days). Meter reads cannot be requested.

Find out more by visiting the Water Reporter

For more information

If there are any water connection issues that have not been covered in these Guidance Notes, please contact the Council on (03) 941 8999 or email