Why the Town Belt?

Prince of Wales Park was selected as the reservoir site after an extensive process for economic, environmental, social, availability and cultural factors. All other options were also located in the Town Belt because the reservoir’s top water level must be high enough to maintain adequate water pressure to users.

How will it affect the Town Belt?

The Omāroro reservoir will be buried to match the existing landform as closely as practical and replanted and rehabilitated in keeping with the local ecology so there will be little or no long-term visual impact.

Access to the site will be restricted during construction and paths through the upper section of the park will also be out of action. However, detour walking routes will be available so people will still be able to get to and from work or school or enjoy a walk through the park.

What about the Wallace Street pipeline works?

Traffic flows, parking and pedestrian access will be affected by works to lay the pipes along Wallace Street connecting Omāroro reservoir to the network – as well as renewing wastewater and stormwater pipes.

Traffic management will be in place throughout the works, but we ask for patience and an understanding that Omāroro is a critical part of helping provide our city with a more secure water supply.

How long with the project take?

The project is set for completion by mid 2022, which will include the replanting and rehabilitation of the Prince of Wales site. Following that will be a five year period of restoration and rehabilitation maintenance to ensure the site if fully restored and enhanced in keeping with the community's vision.


Where is the project at now?

We’ve started work to install new pipelines that will run down Hargreaves Street and along Wallace Street, connecting the reservoir to the city network. We’re beginning at the top of Hargreaves Street, which means initially there’ll be minimal impact on commuter traffic (although it will be quite disruptive for residents as we work down the street).

However, from early August our work will start to affect Wallace Street traffic in off-peak hours. There will be Stop/Go traffic management from Monday to Saturday 9am–4pm. Then from 10 June until late November there’ll be no access to Wright Street from Hargreaves Street – entry and exit to Wright Street will be via Hutchinson Street.

You can find more information about the pipelines programme of works here.

At this stage, we expect to start work on the reservoir in March 2020.

We’re grateful for your patience as we carry out this work to build a stronger city.


Why build two reservoirs in the Town Belt what with the Bell Road replacement?

  • Our drinking water network is gravity fed.  So it is pumped from the Hutt Valley to the reservoirs, and then relies on gravity to get to your property. The city is then divided into zones and the pipes configured for that. 

  • The Omāroro Reservoir will supply what is known as the low level zone, this includes the Wellington Central Business District (CBD), Thorndon, Newtown, Mount Cook, Hataitai, Kilbirnie, Miramar, Strathmore, and Seatoun.

  • Currently the reservoirs for this zone are Macalister (20,000 m3, Berhampore), Carmichael (7,800 m3, Newtown), and Aramoana (6,500 m3,  Mapua).

  • For the network to function all the reservoirs need to be at same elevation so they fill and empty at the same rate.

  • The current Bell Road reservoir is at a higher elevation and feeds Mt Cook and Te Aro.  The proposed replacement reservoir will be at an higher elevation so that it can also supply the Aro Valley, which currently is supplied from one in the carpark of Zealandia and is on a fault line. So while the reservoirs are in close proximity they are at very different elevations and supply different parts of the network. 

  • Part of the investigation work was to see if Omāroro could replace Bell Road and this was not feasible.  There will be a connection between them, but this will only be used in an operational or seismic emergency