MEDIA RELEASE: Immediate Outdoor Water Ban for Martinborough Township

27 January 2020

Despite the call to the community to immediately cease using water outside and to conserve water generally, water consumption has reached critical levels in Martinborough.

“Over the weekend, water consumption reached the “red zone” over 1700m3 per day; this means that we must take decisive action today,” said Mayor Alex Beijen

Mayor Beijen said he had been advised that if a complete outdoor water ban is applied, the township’s water reserves may have chance to recover to continue to serve the community with clean, clear and safe drinking water. This is even more critical with the expected number of visitors to the town over the next few weeks.

“A total outdoor water ban is the last measure we can take to curb water consumption and hopefully avoid going to our three bores for water supply. Martinborough’s water supply is from a single bore, since chlorination was introduced. This is because the other three bores are higher in naturally occurring manganese and can’t be used. If the township uses more water than we can supply from the low-manganese bore, we will have to use the other bores as well,” Mayor Beijen said. That could mean the town’s drinking water becoming discoloured.

“Although safe to drink, the water could lose its clarity due to the reaction between manganese and chlorine – we want to avoid discoloured water if we can.”

“It’s getting hot and saving water is our collective priority, together we can get it done,” Mr Beijen said.

For today, water restrictions in Featherston and Greytown remain at the level of hand-held watering devices only, on alternate days, but the situation is being monitored very closely.

For up-to-date water restrictions for South Wairarapa towns and information on how to conserve water visit


Media contacts

Amy Wharram
Communications Manager, SWDC
027 252 2863

Alex van Paassen
Manager, Community Engagement, Wellington Water
027 232 1677

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