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Published 22/06/2020

Major outage impacting Featherston water supply

Update 23 June

Wellington Water, SWDC and Regional Public Health are working closely together towards lifting  Featherston’s Boil Water Notice. The Notice needs to remain in place until testing confirms the water is safe, following the major breakage to the main on Friday. Yesterday evening two locations in Featherston were impacted by outages. Local crews were on high alert, and quickly responded to both outages working through the night to get water restored to the impacted properties just after midnight.

Following a major outage such as Friday’s interruption, bringing the network back online can introduce extra stress on the pipes. We manage the pressure carefully to minimise this risk, but unfortunately breaks and bursts can still occur, particularly in older pipes.


Update 22 June

Flushing of the network began this morning. This isn’t expected to have an impact on your water supply, however if you do have any issues please contact South Wairarapa District Council.

The Boil Water Notice remains in effect until further notice. This means you need to boil your water before use.

For more information on what this means, take a look at our FAQs here:


Update 21 June

Fifty metres of new pipework was installed beneath the Boar Bush Gully Road to replace the section of water main lost to the collapse of the stream bank. That installation was completed by 3pm Saturday, and the road is now accessible, though further surfacing and finishing of the road is still to take place.

We restored drinking water to Featherston on Friday evening by supplying direct from the Waiohine Water Treatment Plant via a system that bypasses the broken main. This will continue while we take the necessary steps to recommission the main reservoir and the new pipework.

These steps include taking the opportunity to fully clean and flush the main reservoir before we refill it and reconnect it to the town’s network via the repaired water main. In the meantime we began stabilising the town’s water network following the disruption caused by a breakage of this nature, so that people’s taps will run steady and clear.

As a matter of public safety, we take water quality samples throughout this process to ensure that everything is as it should be while we recommission the reservoir and new water main to restore normal network operations. We work in coordination with Regional Public Health to determine when the Boil Water Notice can be lifted; until that time it will remain in effect to protect the public.

We anticipate being in a position to lift the Boil Water Notice later this week.


Update 20 June 4.15pm

Thank you to the residents of Featherston and Greytown for your conservation efforts so far, it has definitely made a difference!

We do however need to keep up the conservation efforts in both towns for the duration of the weekend so we are in a good position to get the main reservoir back online and ensure supply is adequately chlorinated. Things you can do to reduce consumption include taking shorter showers and only doing full loads of washing.

Residents of Featherston are still advised to boil water until further notice. Throughout the duration of the boil water notice being in effect, we will continue to provide bottled water and tankers for people to collect.


Update 20 June 10.30am

Following restoration to the network last night, we were able to maintain water supply to Featherston.

It is important residents of Featherston continue to boil water before use. This will be in effect for at least three days – as we require three days of clear test results before this can be lifted. Even if your water looks clear, please boil before using it.

We are still providing bottled water at the Library and a static tanker at Fox Street. Bottled water will be available at Fox Street from 12pm also.

We will be continuing with the flushing of the network to ensure adequate chlorination – however this means we need residents of both Featherston and Greytown to continue their conservation efforts throughout the weekend to ensure we keep up with demand. Conservation efforts will need to continue throughout the works to repair the main pipe.

We encourage residents to check in on their neighbours who may be vulnerable, and to contact South Wairarapa District Council if they require any assistance in providing water to those who cannot collect it themselves.


Update 5.20pm

We began gradually restoring water to Featherston just after 4.30pm. For the next few hours while the network gets re-charged, it is expected that flows may not be constant. There may be air bubbles or slight discolouration, so we recommend you run your tap for a short time to let any air escape. We will be flushing the network in the morning to ensure adequate chlorination of the water supply.

The Boil Water Notice is still in effect until further notice, so please continue to boil water when supply resumes.
Water tankers and bottled water remain available onsite until 7pm, as per the below map, and will be available in the morning also.

Thank you for your patience while we worked to get water restored.


Update 3.30pm

The Waiohine treatment plant reservoir is recovering well, and we are on track to start restoring water supply to Featherston at around 4pm – though this may take a little time to complete. When the water returns, there may be air bubbles as the pressure come back through the network, or slight discolouration.

We recommend you run your tap for a short time to let any air escape.
Make sure you have your taps closed ahead of the water coming back on to avoid any water damage in your home.

It is important to note that the Boil Water Notice remains in place until further notice. We need to flush the network fully once the reservoir is fully recovered to ensure adequate chlorination of the water supply - this will occur overnight, and we plan to start flushing work tomorrow once this is achieved. So please continue to boil water prior to use to ensure your safety.

Contractors will be onsite to undertake repair works of the damaged pipe at Boars Bush Gully Road. We will provide further updates on these works in due course.

Some properties will continue without water until the repair works are complete. We will be working directly with these impacted residents to provide and alternative supply.


Update 1pm

Tankers are available at the Fox Street Skatepark and ANZAC Hall on Bell and Birdwood Streets. Bottled water is available to collect from the library, and we have plumbed in supply at the medical centre and community centre.We ask residents to avoid flushing their toilets where necessary.
Residents of Greytown are also encouraged to conserve water to minimise demand on the water treatment plant, which will speed up the water reservoir recovery.Work is underway to restore water supply to the town, we expect to have supply restored this evening.

Media release: Major outage impacting Featherston water supply 

Following heavy rain overnight, a land slip in the early hours of the morning washed a section of pipe and interrupted water supply to Featherston. Work is underway to restore water supply to the town, which is expected to take the majority of the day. Once water is restored, it will be necessary to flush and test the system to ensure the water supply is safe and secure. 

In consultation with Regional Public Health, a Boil Water Notice has been issued until further notice, supply tankers have been set up in the town and schools on the town water supply are closed for the day. After the water is restored, three clear days of tests will be required before the boil water notice can be lifted.

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen says “The community spirit in Featherston this morning has been exceptional, thanks those who have been checking on their neighbours and making sure that everyone is being looked after”.

“In managing the day, we ask residents to avoid flushing their toilets where necessary. Residents of Greytown are also requested to conserve water to minimise demand on the water treatment plant, which will speed up the water reservoir recovery”   

Updates on the outage will be published on Wellington Water’s website and Facebook page.

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