Managing water catchments
Safe and reliable drinking water doesn't arrive at your tap without planning and managing the bush and forest in the water collection areas - and that's part of our job at Greater Wellington Regional Council to help Wellington Water deliver good quality drinking water to you.
The Hutt and Wainuiomata/Orongorongo water collection areas are rugged and remote areas with forests. We need to actively manage threats that may impact on water quality including controlling plant and animal pests. Plant pests include gorse, lotus, and wilding pines. Animal pests include deer, goats, possums, rats, stoats and weseals.
People and vehicles can carry weed seeds and diseases into these areas. To minimise the chance of this happening we ensure that all vehicles entering the collection areas are cleaned on entry. On guide walking tours people are checked to make sure they have clean boots and equipment.
We restrict and limit access to these areas to reduce the risk of water contamination. Hunting is allowed but you need a permit in both catchment areas but limited to the roar season in the Wainuiomata/Orongongo catchment. Nearby GWRC and DOC regional parks including the Rimutaka, Tararua and Pakuratahi Forest Parks and the Kaitoke Regional Park provide full recreation access for Wellingtonians to get out and enjoy the great outdoors near to their city.
As part of routine management, we monitor the water collection areas to identify threats to water quality and supply. We check forest vegetation health and look for loss of vegetation cover from pest animal browsing. We monitor rainfall and stream flows.
Wellington Water continually monitors water quality, looking for organisms such as giardia and cryptosporidium that can make people sick.
The management plan for the Hutt and Wainuiomata/ Orongorgono Water Collection areas outlines how Wellington Water and GWRC will work together to help ensure that enough clean water is delivered to meet the Wellington region's needs with a minimal amount of intervention at the water treatment plants.
You can find out more about protection of our water catchment areas by downloading the: