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New Zealand Central Hawkes Bay Natalie and Shaun Veolia

Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is provided by Veolia to answer your questions.  Please follow the quick links to frequently asked questions.


Is the water safe to drink?

Veolia supplies the highest quality water. It complies with New Zealand Drinking Water Standards and is completely safe to drink. The flushing of the first mugful of water each morning is a nationwide precautionary recommendation, issued by the Ministry of Health.

What if my water is brown in colour?

Water that is brown in colour is most likely due to the presence of tiny amounts of soluble compounds of iron and manganese in the treated water that gradually build up as a coating on the pipe wall. 
When the normal flow of clear water is disrupted for any reason, for example for repairs or maintenance, the iron and manganese are re-suspended in the water, causing a brown colour. 
The water is still completely safe even though its appearance might suggest otherwise, however, consumption of this water should be avoided. 
Usually the discolouration will gradually clear by itself. We recommend running an outside tap for a few minutes to remove this residual discoloured water. 
If the colouration does not clear, contact us. In some instances, we may need to help you by flushing the mains in the street to restore clear water.

What if my laundry is stained from discoloured water?

Discoloured water can stain washing if it enters into an active washing machine. A solution of oxalic acid will remove iron and manganese stains from clothing. It is available for free from us by calling (09) 295 0515

Why does the water from my tap come out in a sudden spurt or noisily?

This may be due to air trapped in the pipe under pressure, which expands suddenly when the tap is turned on. The solution is to leave a cold water tap turned on slightly for a short time, allowing the trapped air to be safely dispersed. If the problem persists, please contact us.

What if my water is a cloudy whitish colour?

During refilling of the water main after repairs or maintenance, some air may be trapped. This air is dissolved in the water under pressure and when the pressure is released by opening a tap, fine air bubbles come out in the water causing a milky appearance.

Leave some water standing in a clear glass and the white colour should disappear after a short time. If you are still having problems, please contact us.

Why does my water taste or smell different?

Firstly, check your household appliances. Sometimes something as simple as a washer on the kettle that has deteriorated can cause an unpleasant taste. If the problem persists, please contact us as we may need to flush the street mains on some quieter streets or check network valving arrangements. 
Sometimes you may need to seek help from your plumber for remedying private issues impacting on water quality. 
If you have recently moved in to the district, you may just need time to get accustomed to the taste of the local water supply, which may be different to you but perfectly safe. 

What do I do if my water bill is higher then usual?

If this has occurred, please contact us so we can investigate the issue for you.


What should I do if my pipes aren’t draining properly?

Poorly draining pipes may indicate a problem with your household’s drains or the public wastewater system. By contacting our 24 hour service on (09) 295 0515, we will visit your property and assess the cause. If the fault is due to the public system, we will fix it. If the problem is due to a private issue a charge may apply. 

What happens when tree roots enter a drain or there is a build-up of discarded fats and oils in the pipe?

Tree roots can sometimes enter into a pipe searching for water or discarded fats may build up in the pipe reducing the size of the hole the water can drain through and causing the pipe to be blocked. Water then backs up into the system and causes an overflow of wastewater into properties or onto the street. Those overflows can lead to disruptions of services and damage to properties. Each year we undertake a number of activities to reduce the amount of overflows, but your help is needed to reduce these incidents further by correctly disposing of fats and oils:

  • Wipe frypans with a paper towel before washing
  • Let the fat cool and wrap in newspaper or pour into a tin and place in the rubbish bin


How can I get help understanding my bill?

If you are having difficulty paying your water bill, please contact us. There are several options available to help make paying your account easier.

Regular affordable payments can be arrangement so you can pay your overdue bill in installments that are within your budget.

You may be entitled to assistance from Work and Income. Contact them on 0800 559 009.

 The National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust offer helpful, free budgeting advice. There are also a number of other help agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and

Why is my bill more than I expected?

It can be very easy to go through a lot of water without realising it. The following reasons may contribute to you receiving a bill that is more than you expected:

  • You may have or have had a water leak.
  • You may have had more people staying at your property.
  • You may have undertaken building, renovating or decorating work that increased your water usage.
  • You may have used your washing machine or dishwasher more frequently.
  • You may have been watering your garden more frequently.
  • You may have filled your swimming pool.

If you think your water bill may be incorrect and you have eliminated that this is not due to a leak on your property, it may be possible that the water meter is faulty.

Contact us to request on-site meter accuracy test. If the test proves that the meter is faulty above or below three-percent, there will be no charge for the test and the meter will be replaced and your account adjusted accordingly.

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Get in Touch

Get in touch for more information. One of the Veolia team will be in touch shortly to assist however possible.