Stu Wilson doesn't like chlorinated drinking water - so he's built his own water well in his front yard so he and the rest of the Whakatu community can have access to fresh water.

He's spent thousands of dollars drilling a pipe about 34 metres into the ground for his personal water well.

The result: non-chlorinated water streaming from the bore below.

Wilson, who has resource consent from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council for the well, has currently renamed his property "Lake Whakatu" as an evident puddle of water surrounds his house while he works to secure the pipe ready for public use.


The introduction of chlorination across all the district's public water drinking supplies - including Whakatu - arose from the government inquiry into the Havelock North water contamination in August 2016.

Wilson said he's spent thousands of dollars during the past few years on restoring plumbing infrastructure on his properties due to chlorine damage.

Stu Wilson with his fresh water well for the Whakatu community. Photo / Paul Taylor
Stu Wilson with his fresh water well for the Whakatu community. Photo / Paul Taylor

"I own this house in Whakatu and two others and it's cost me about $5000 to get this all replaced and I've given my tenants carbon filters as well so they can have fresher water."

He was one of many frustrated protesters at a community drinking-water "pop-up box" outside the Clive Community Hall last year.

Other protesters hailed from Te Awanga, Waipatu, Clive and Haumoana, where chlorine was introduced to the water supply in 2018.

"It's like drinking out of your pool," Wilson said of the chlorinated water.

Once the well is complete, Wilson will have a similar system to that of Hastings' non-chlorinated water tap outside the Hastings library, where residents can stock up.

"I'm going to particle filter the water and then in about four to six weeks I'll set up a nice tap and people can come and get water when they want."


It's a costly process, but that's how passionate Wilson is about having non-chlorinated water in his home and community.

"Why should we have something in our water that we specifically didn't want?"