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?

Wallace Street was closed to through traffic from the 5th of January through to 6 July 2020, which allowed us to install major new drinking water pipes in Wallace Street that will connect to the soon-to-be-built Omāroro reservoir.


How long with the project take?

The project is set for completion in late 2023, 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?

Work is currently underway on laying the pipelines along Wallace Street that will connect the Omāroro reservoir to the network. We expect this work to be completed by mid-2020. You can find out more about the pipelines programme of works here.

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

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

For project updates check our news pages here


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