Not everywhere in Aotearoa is water reliable and safe to drink. Every year in New Zealand, about 34,000 people get sick from contaminated drinking water. Many households still have to boil water to make it fit for human consumption. How is this going to be changed?
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Enhancing Drinking Water Safety in Aotearoa: New Guidelines for Drinking Water Suppliers
New Zealand is fundamentally reforming the entire drinking water regulation system. New laws and rules have been introduced, baffling many drinking water suppliers. However, many small rural businesses, cafes, AirBnBs, dental surgeries and petrol stations do not even know they are a drinking water supplier under the new Water Services Act 2021.
Why is this, and what changes are happening in New Zealand’s drinking water supply network? Let’s bring some light in the dark and start with a quick overview.
» What do you need to do if you are considered a drinking water supplier?
Are you a registered drinking water supplier and need some guidance on how to get compliance with the new legislation?
Bringing light into the dark
Are you struggling to understand what you are? Do you need help understanding your duties and legal obligations? No problem, our water expert team will help you quickly and straightforwardly.
The Water Services Act 2021
The Havelock North incident in 2016, which sickened more than 8,000 people with campylobacteriosis, was the catalyst for reforming the water supply sector in New Zealand. As part of the drinking water reform in New Zealand, the new Water Services Act 2021 (WSA) was commenced in November 2021. From this time on, this new legislation forms the statutory basis to improve drinking water safety in Aotearoa. Additionally, it provides the legal framework for Taumata Arowai, the new Drinking Water Regulator. This legal framework offers tools to reform the drinking water supply industry. Hence, the overall goal is to improve the performance of the water services sector.
Taumata Arowai – the new water service regulator
Establishing the new water services regulator Taumata Arowai is part of the Government’s Three Water Reform Programme. One of the three pillars is the new standalone Crown entity which has a supervisory role in New Zealand wastewater and stormwater systems. Since 2021, Taumata Arowai has taken over this responsibility from the Ministry of Health to regulate the water supply delivery system. Therefore, the overall goal is to improve the water services sector’s performance and ensure everyone’s water safety.
Drinking Water Standard of New Zealand
Drinking water is the most essential food! On average, an adult should drink two litres of water per day. In addition, we use potable water to prepare food and drinks. And we use it for personal hygiene, washing up or doing the laundry. Consequently, in New Zealand, drinking water needs to comply with the Water Services (Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand) Regulations 2022. These standards determine the maximum values for various contaminants, such as heavy metals or bacteria and other pathogens. Furthermore, the newly established Aesthetic Values consider additional components like the drinking water’s odour, taste and appearance.
Thus, Taumata Arowai sets the NZ Drinking Water Standards and ensures that drinking water suppliers meet their legal requirements to deliver potable water to their businesses, customers and communities. This water is free from any harmful impurities and is fit for human consumption.
Drinking Water Suppliers
As the Water Services Act 2021 gives clear definitions, it also outline the definition and duties of a Drinking Water Supplier.
Therefore, you are a drinking water supplier if you…
⇨ supply drinking water through a drinking water supply.
⇨ ought reasonably to know that the water you supply is or will be used as drinking water.
⇨ are the owner and the operator of a drinking water supply.
⇨ you are described in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) and supply drinking water to another drinking water supplier.
Attention; this does not include a domestic self-supplier. In this case, it is a self-contained dwelling with its own drinking water supply. Serving more than a single household, e.g. having an office at home and seeing clients, you are considered a drinking water supplier.
Innovative Water Treatment technologies for Drinking Water Suppliers
We have years of experience in professional water treatment and the quality products to make your water source safe. Consequently, you can deliver potable drinking water to your customers without worry.
Are you considered a drinking water supplier? What are your legal duties?
As a drinking water supplier, you must ensure that your water is safe and suitable for human consumption. The legislation allows you to develop a solution that applies the Acceptable Solutions from Taumata Arowai or complies with the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022.
Register your water supply with Taumata Arowai
⇨ All registered water supplies, regardless of their size, are given one year to confirm their registration and adhere to the requirements of the WSA.
⇨ Unregistered water supplies are allowed up to four years to complete their registration process and an additional seven years to fully comply with the WSA.
⇨ For any newly established water supply, immediate registration and full compliance with the Act are mandatory.
However, you need to renew your registration annually and update any changes in the supply details, including contact information, supplied quantity, new water sources, treatment methods, and more.
Hinekōrako, a user-friendly online service portal, has been introduced to streamline the registration process, as well as communication and notifications with Taumata Arowai.
Comply with the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022
The Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules derive from the Water Services Act 2021. Thus, they are a comprehensive framework providing clear instructions and guidance for drinking water suppliers to ensure drinking water safety. These new rules take into account the size and the distinctiveness of the water supply. Furthermore, they attach greater importance to water testing and monitoring the entire distribution system.
Part of the Assurance Rules is the establishment of a Drinking Water Safety Plan, a Source Water Risk Management Plan and a Backflow Prevention. Our water expert team is happy to assist you in demonstrating compliance with the Water Services (Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand) Regulations 2022 and the Water Services Act 2021.
What we can do for you:
» Test your source water with an accredited laboratory
» Offer cost-effective and proven water treatment solutions
» Write the Water Safety Plan & Water Source Risk Management Plan
» Come onsite, assess your water supply & give honest advice on the following practical steps on your way to compliance
“Good on you, thanks for our Water Safety Plan. Taumata Arowai have approved us and we are now registered. Good work mate, we flew through. Cheers and thanks heaps.”
Kevin Smith, Kevs Contracting Ltd., November 2022
Water carrier in the Whangarei District, for whom we developed a Water Safety Plan to comply with the new Water Services Act regulations.
We take care of the pesky paperwork
Are you a drinking water supplier in New Zealand? Our water experts team will be happy to help you get your legal compliance. This way, you can get back to your day-to-day business while we take care of the tedious paperwork.
Apply a Drinking Water Acceptable Solution for your Water Supply
Taumata Arowai provides small drinking water suppliers with drinking water acceptable solutions based on the water source. Finally, these solutions outline what water suppliers must do to ensure the water supply’s treatment, management, and operation. Therefore, it is a comprehensive approach that considers each water source’s unique characteristics. Water suppliers must establish each solution entirely to comply with the Drinking Water Standards.
Each acceptable solution has its own design, configuration and installation approach. In addition, it determines the requirements for source water testing, operations, maintenance, monitoring and emergency management for each individual water supply.
Aqua Works provides practical and proven acceptable solutions for drinking water suppliers. We have cost-effective and modular water treatment products that will provide your customers and community with safe drinking water according to the Drinking Water Standards of New Zealand.
Timeline for Compliance
with the Water Services Act & NZ’s Drinking Water Standards
Aqua Works supports Drinking Water Suppliers to comply with their legal obligations!
With our smart and modular product solutions, you can have peace of mind knowing that your drinking water is being treated and managed according to the legal requirements.
Say goodbye to generic solutions and embrace a more customised and efficient way to ensure safe drinking water for your business.
The Water Services Act 2021 aims to make drinking water safer for everyone. As part of this water reform, new compliance rules will ensure the highest drinking water quality in Aotearoa. The team at Aqua Works is passionate about empowering individual households and businesses to have safe and healthy drinking water. We provide innovative and cost-effective water treatment products to protect your water source. At the same time, you will retrieve potable water from every tap in your business/ home.
Call us today on 0800 AQUA WORKS to schedule an onsite appointment and find out how we can assist you in getting your legal compliance!