A SEVERE thunderstorm has caused extensive damage to Armidale Regional Council's northern water reservoir.
A lightning strike severely damaged pumping equipment, causing weakened water pressure to parts of the shire.
The damage has forced the council to manually pump water out of the reservoir during the day to partially restore water pressure to homes in the affected area.
The manual pumping will occur during high and moderate-use periods, while permanent repairs are being carried out.
Armidale mayor Simon Murray said residents in northern Armidale, Foothills Estate and Link Road could have low pressure or no water at all.
"It took out the control boards that operate three parts that operate the three pumps," Cr Murray said.
"Repairs will take about one week. A lot of the town can be supplied by gravity feed from those towers.
"So, really the issue is those residents that are in those higher elevations.
"Council is having a staff member manually controlling one pump.
"The pump will run between 6am and 10.30pm to restore water pressure to normal, but outside of those hours water pressure will be low to zero."
The council's general manager of businesses Scot MacDonald said even while the manual pumps are running, households could experience some reduction in water pressure at times.
"We encouraging residents to minimise their water use while the repairs are being carried out and, where practical, to time their water use outside the highest peak periods - which are typically around breakfast and dinner time," he said.
"Households in this region have become very efficient in minimising water use during the ongoing drought.
"For the next week, there will be further impetus for households in the affected zone to minimise their use until the pumping equipment is restored."