New Water Tanks for Emergency Use

11 June 2013

More emergency water tanks will be installed around the city soon but residents should still make sure they have water stored at home too.

People refilling their emergency water supplies.

Also continue to store your own emergency water supplies at home


When a major emergency, like an earthquake, hits Wellington one of the necessities will be drinking water. If the city’s water supply is disrupted our population will require about 4 million litres of water per day for survival (20 litres per person per day).

The city already has a few emergency water tanks but we will install another 50 at key locations around the city over the next four years. Most of the tanks will hold 25,000 litres of water each - a total of about 1,250,000 litres.

The community will be able to collect drinking water from these tanks at a number of locations until the water pipe network is repaired.

The tanks will augment the water storage of our network reservoirs and will be placed at potential welfare and civil defence centres - like schools and community halls. The tanks will be connected to the water supply system and kept full but, if necessary, could be used to collect and store rainwater or refilled by water tankers.

We are gradually upgrading and strengthening our water reservoirs and around 50 percent of our stored water is located in earthquake-resistant reservoirs. This work will continue but it may take another 10 - 20 years before 90 percent is secure.

Even so, it is important that we prepare to function for as long as possible with emergency water arrangements as it could take some time to restore bulk water supplies, which come from the Hutt Valley.

The installation of the new water tanks is a Wellington City Council project and in line with the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Plan.

The Council’s Civil Defence Controller, Stavros Michael, says while the installation of these additional tanks will give more security to Wellington’s drinking water supply in an emergency, people shouldn’t
become complacent.

“Households must make sure they have at least three days supply of bottled water for each person. If you haven’t prepared you should store water now. Save soft drink or juice bottles. Wash the bottles thoroughly, fill with tap water, screw the lids on tight and store in a cool dark place. It’s that easy.”

If you want to find out more about how to prepare for an emergency, see the following pages:

Preparing for an Emergency

Get Ready Get Thru

You can buy 10-litre water containers for $5 from our Service Centre at 101 Wakefield Street.