A Napier resident whose water filter turned black in six months says remedying the city's drinking water should be Napier City Council's top priority.
Kevin Hardgrave says he didn't understand how bad the sediment in the water was until he changed his water filters, which had turned from white to black.
"I didn't know until we had the filters in, I don't think anyone knows."
He said when the council flushed the pipes the same black sediment ran into the gutters, meaning it must be coming from the city's pipes, rather than his own internal plumbing.
"Rather than build a swimming pool first they should fix the water, that should be your top priority."
He said he had spent about $400 on water filters since installing his filtration system 18 months ago.
A spokesperson for council said the water was safe to drink. "Council has tested the discoloured water from time to time and found nothing which can cause health issues."
"We have undertaken a review of the entire drinking water network and this is part of our planned work programme."
Council has identified $10million of capital work to be completed in the next three years that are "intended to reduce the risk of these issues occurring in future".
"Additional consideration will also need to be given to how the amount of sediment in our network can be reduced and keep at minimal levels, by way of more extensive and/or repetitive mains cleaning and flushing programmes throughout the winter months."
Aqua Filter Hawke's Bay's owner Brian Cawood said they had seen a spike in people buying water filters in Napier since it was announced chlorination was going to be permanent.
He said the sediment was not new, but had been sitting in the pipes for a long time, chlorine simply released it.
He said it was a problem across the country, not just in Napier, but felt there was a communication problem between people and councils in Hawke's Bay.
"If the people of Napier and council could talk to each other instead of screaming at each other there are solutions that could be implement, flushing mechanisms etc that could be used."
"The chlorine itself is another issue entirely, chlorine is not something we will see being removed from New Zealand water for a long time because there is not viable alternative means of protecting people from pathogens at this stage."
He said filters varied in price, and they could install filters which can be cleaned rather than having to be replaced.
"People don't quite realise that a basic filter for drinking is not the most expensive thing that there is."
He said a basic filter would cost around $200.
Napier City Council has been approached for comment.