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Water Reservoirs

Tauranga has two types of reservoir:

  • Underground aquifer.  The underground aquifer in the foothills of the Kaimai Ranges which supplies the Tautau and Waiorohi Streams, our drinking water supply streams.     
  • Local reservoirs. These are the large concrete tanks that you see dotted around the City, which smooth out the demands placed on the treatment plants. The local reservoirs also provide water in emergencies - for fire fighting or when a main breaks.

Tauranga is fortunate to have the large aquifer as this provides natural storage for water which then flows out in the streams pretty consistently all year round. It means that the local reservoirs are needed mainly to buffer the demands placed on the system. So when everybody gets home and starts watering the garden at 5:30 there is still enough water (and pressure) for everyone. (By the way, it is much better to water your garden later so the plants soak it up rather than have the sun evaporate most of the water you put on - see garden hints).

Handy tips for watering your garden efficiently (176 kb pdf)

There are also reservoirs at both treatment plants - these act as header tanks for the system. The reservoirs allow the treatment plants to operate at a constant rate, which is the way the plants operate best.

The Joyce Road Water Treatment Plant has a 10,000 cubic metres reservoir that is buried. Water is filtered through the plant and then chlorinated before flowing into the reservoir. From the reservoir it feeds the Pyes Pa and Welcome Bay reservoirs and the three coastal reservoirs at Mount Maunganui, Mangatawa and Poplar Lane.


Water Reservoir

Joyce Water Treatment Plant Storage Reservoir

Mount Maunganui/Papamoa/Welcome Bay

Mount Maunganui, Papamoa and Welcome Bay are supplied from Joyce Rd Water Treatment Plant these areas are serviced by ten reservoirs with a total storage capacity of 30,250 cubic metres of treated water. The area can be divided into smaller systems. At the top of the system is the treatment plant and the Joyce Clear Water Reservoir, as shown above, Pyes Pa feeds directly off this reservoir.

All the Welcome Bay reservoirs – Ohauiti (2), Kaitemako, Waitaha and three at Waikite are also fed from it. Water from these reservoirs is then fed into the reticulation below each reservoir. Although there are many reservoirs in this area they are generally small - and only supply a small area. Due to the hilly nature and lack of cross roads in Welcome Bay the only way to increase security of supply was to have numerous reservoirs.

The Coastal area needs extra storage as it is further from the treatment plants. So from the Joyce Reservoir the water is transported to the Mount/Papamoa areas by large water mains. It is fed into the Mount, Mangatawa and Poplar Lane Reservoirs. These three reservoirs have a combined total of 18,000 cubic metres and feed the entire Coastal Strip from the western end of Mount Maunganui area to the most southern tip of Papamoa.


The reservoirs at the Oropi Road Water Treatment Plant and those serving the suburbs of Bethlehem, Brookfield, Greerton, Matua, Otumoetai and the central city have a combined storage of 37,270 cubic metres of treated water.

Town Reservoir

Town distribution Reservoir

Tauranga Central is supplied directly using storage at the Oropi Road Water Treatment Plant.

oropi Water Treatment Storage Reservoirs

Oropi Water Treatment Plant Storage Reservoirs

Tauranga West - that is Bethlehem Brookfield, Greerton, Matua and Otumoetai are supplied via the Oropi Rd Reservoirs, Sherson St Pump Station, then the Cambridge Rd Reservoirs (total storage of 18,300cubic metres ) and then through the Cambridge Rd Pump Station that boosts the water pressure in the reticulation. 

Last Reviewed: 11/04/2017