Coffee. Tea. Ink. That is how Napier residents are describing the water which came out of their taps at the weekend.

One resident Chris Baylis , said the water was bad enough she would not let her granddaughter bath in it.

"We used bottled water to clean our teeth."

She wanted council to take responsibility and communicate with residents about the problem.

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"I think the council should be advising us what is going on, whether it's safe and what they are doing about it."

"I haven't seen any public statement from them acknowledging there is a problem and what they are doing about it."

A spokesperson for Napier City Council said they received about 125 complaints about the issue on Sunday.

They said it was caused by scheduled water mains cleaning.

If you are experiencing water discolouration, council said to run your outdoor taps for 20 minutes.

"It would be great if you can direct this water into gardens, so it won't go to waste."

"If the problem persists, call our service centre on 06 835 7579. We'll get a crew out as quickly as possible to help fix the situation."

However, residents did not believe water mains cleaning was causing the problem.

"I think it's a much bigger problem, in my opinion," Baylis said.

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Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said he believed it was caused by the cruise ships taking water.

"What's left is just dredges on the bottom."

However, council denied that cruise ships were the cause of the problem.

The resident said they had run their water for 45 minutes before it was clear.

"You can't drink it, it came out the colour of black coffee."