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Marton Water Supply Strategy

How we're building our way to better water

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For many years some residents in Marton have had drinking water that occasionally changes colour and can taste unpleasant.

We’re committed to making sure everyone in our District has access to consistent, high quality drinking water and this is the foundation of our Marton Water Supply Strategy.

What is the Marton Water Strategy?

The Marton Water Supply Strategy is a $11m commitment Council has made in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan to fund improved drinking water for Marton. This project aims to provide Marton with a fit-for-purpose and consistent water supply that will accommodate the towns growth.

The strategy includes the drilling of a second bore hole (work that is now currently underway) and building a new water treatment plant at the current treatment plant site.

The new bore will work alongside an existing bore at Tutaenui Reserve and significantly increase the volume of groundwater that can be accessed. The water accessed through these bores is much more consistent than the dams which means we can fine tune the treatment and produce consistent, high quality drinking water all year round.

The new water treatment plant will be a state-of-the-art processing plant and will replace the existing 100-year-old water treatment plant.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Council and Committee Reports

The following papers have been discussed in Council and Committee Meetings.

What’s going on with the Marton Water Supply Strategy?

Check out our FAQs below to find out more.

If you have a question that is not answered below, please email your question to

During the dry summer months, when water consumption in town is at its highest, the water levels in the two Marton Dams drop and we experience significant algae blooms. This is the water that is treated at our Water Treatment Plant to make it safe for our people to drink. During the Spring and Summer, our current treatment plant isn’t able to remove all of the taste and discolouration caused by the algae blooms. Don’t worry - the water is still carefully tested and is safe to drink.

We regularly test samples of our drinking water. Analysis of these tests show that the water is safe to drink even though it may not look, smell or taste the way we would prefer.

This is an issue that relates specifically to the unique conditions that surround the Marton Dams and our current 100-year-old water treatment plant.

Right now, we have many steps in place to minimise the discolouration, taste, and odour of water in Marton. For example:

  • We regularly flush our water supply pipes to ensure these are filled with fresh water
  • We’re constantly adjusting the treatment process
  • We mix in water from our Tūtaenui Bore (water from an underground source), so that the water we treat is better quality to start with
  • We have a water filter system at the Marton RSA and Citizens’ Memorial Hall for residents to access fresh filtered water.

We’re working on a permanent fix and have invested $11m into the Marton Water Strategy to ensure that Marton has a consistent, fit for purpose supply of drinking water that will serve us now and in the future.

This means we are:

  • Drilling a second borehole to access the more consistent groundwater to replace the need to use water in the dams
  • Building a new water treatment plant which will cope with increased demand and better tailor treatment to the new groundwater source.

We will see both of these completed by the end of June 2024.

We understand this has been an ongoing issue for many residents over the years. As part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, we’ve made the commitment to address these issues by investing in the Marton Water Supply Strategy to provide a higher quality and more appealing water to the residents of Marton.

In October 2022 we are starting work drilling the second bore hole at Tūtaenui Reserve. The project is due to up and running by the end of June 2024 (after the new treatment plant has been constructed). The change in water is only seasonal but we are committed to providing consistency for the community.

The groundwater accessed through these bores is of more consistent quality than the water in the dams which means we can fine-tune the treatment and keep the drinking water consistent all year round. When the project is completed, the two bores are expected to be able to supply enough volume in groundwater that the dams will not be used for drinking water any more.

A budget of $11m to complete the work we will undertake as part of the Marton Water Supply Strategy and has been allocated as part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.

The new treatment plant, due to open by the end of June 2024, will be a processing plant and will replace the existing 100-year-old water treatment plant. This means it will be able to cope with the increased demand and produce more consistent drinking water for the residents of Marton.

Although the water at the Marton RSA and Citizens’s Memorial Hall comes from the same dams, it is treated drinking water that goes through a series of activated carbon filters to remove differences in taste/colour.

Rangitīkei District Council are working in partnership with Manawatū District Council to deliver the project, with Wanganui Well Driller commencing drilling the second bore shortly.