Rural drinking water supply to remote communities

Rural drinking water supply remote communities | Marae water supply
Customer Need

Addressing unsafe rural drinking water supply

To address unsafe rural drinking water supply in small remote communities, a pilot Rural Drinking Water programme was launched. In New Zealand rural kāinga (villages), marae, papakāinga and kōhanga reo currently equate to 23 percent of total registered water supplies that are not connected to town water supplies.

Water treatment upgrades were required for six marae throughout Gisborne, Bay of Plenty and Great Island Barrier. The objectives of the project were to improve the long-term quality of the rural drinking water along with improving the capacity and capability of the water treatment plant installers, operators, and service people in these areas. 

FILTEC have been involved in the initiative as the lead drinking water plant supplier. The scope of works included the design and delivery of new water treatment systems, community operator training and ongoing maintenance to help keep each marae’s water safe.



Project type:
Small Community, Municipal, Residential

Plant Capacity:
25m³/day – 100m³/day

What we did

Understood each communities treatment requirements and connection to their ancient puna

Over the past 12 months, starting in 2021, FILTEC has collaborated with Crown Infrastructure Partners and local marae to construct six new water treatment plants.

The process commenced by identifying each marae’s water source and volume requirements. Along with providing on-site training and support, FILTEC deemed it crucial to create water treatment solutions that rural site owners could handle basic operation and maintenance for.

The six communities obtained their water from nearby rivers, streams, springs, boreholes, and rainwater supplies. It was important to gain an understanding of each community’s connection to their ancient puna or water source to ensure the proposed solution complemented the natural water sources. 

Rural drinking water supply, Marae water supply, community water supply
Rural drinking water supply, remote communities, Marae water supply
Rural drinking water supply, Marae water supply, community water supply

Delivered modular water treatment plants

To cater to the unique requirements of each marae, FILTEC proposed a modular water treatment plant housed in a modest shed. These modular plants are available in sizes ranging from 25 to 100 cubic metres, depending on the water source, quality, and volume needs. Our modular solutions cover the entire range of required capacities and treatment types, designed for simple installation, operation, and maintenance.

Each of the six water treatment plants comprises a leaf screen and first flush diverter (for roof water), break tank, pump, pre-filtration, cartridge filtration, and UV disinfection system. As different types of contaminants require different treatment processes, we selected these modular process building blocks for each site based on specific water treatment challenges.

Cost-effectively fabricated and assembled in-house

Our modular plants were fabricated and assembled at our Auckland-based in-house manufacturing warehouse. This allowed us to produce the required units cost-effectively while maintaining greater quality control. Once completed, the modular treatment buildings were delivered to each marae via a Hiab truck on the road.

With support from our local partners, FILTEC refined the construction methodology and optimized the delivery of the water treatment plants. Our partners also aided in installing the detached building on-site.

The Results

Improved water quality at all sites, making it safe for drinking

FILTEC identified the most suitable technology that could be easily and efficiently installed at the first six marae sites, meeting New Zealand drinking water standards. We upgraded the on-site water storage capacity  and significantly improved the water quality, making it safe for drinking.

Through close collaboration with hapū and iwi, we gained a greater understanding of the cultural significance of water to these communities.

Our local reseller partners played a vital role in the successful delivery of the pilot program, supporting the installation and maintenance of the water treatment systems. With 30+ local partners located in close proximity to rural communities throughout New Zealand, FILTEC is well-positioned to support the remainder of the Rural Drinking Water Supply program as the lead water treatment supplier, backed by our local partner network.