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Rural Water Supply – Cafes, Restaurants & Food Businesses

Providing potable water to your customers & staff

In New Zealand, most rural communities and local businesses depend on their own water supply for drinking water. Consequently, they are considered small water supplies under Water Services Act (2021). As a result, it implies compliance with various regulations and standards like the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand 2022 . The core of this compliance is the responsibility of cafes & restaurants to provide potable water to their customers and staff. But what does this mean?

If the business is on town water, local authorities regulate water quality and provide clean drinking water. However, if the café, restaurant and pub is a small water supplier, they must ensure that the water offered to their customers and staff is clean and safe to drink. This means that the rural food service is responsible for regulating the quality of the water. Additionally, they must also take all measures to ensure that the water is fit for human consumption.


Risk of providing non potable water in your rural food service

The on-site water source in rural communities is usually groundwater (borehole or well) or rainwater, but it could also be from streams, rivers or dams. There is generally high risk of contamination with this type of private water supply. Disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses or parasites can enter the water cycle. This way, it poses a threat, especially for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Ultimately, an infection with E coli or Giardia is not only unpleasant but can also lead to long-term health implications.

Furthermore, heavy metals, e.g. manganese, iron or copper from old pipes, as well as residues from heavy farming such as nitrates or herbicides, can endanger the water supply. Professional water treatment is essential to protect people from water-borne diseases and make the water suitable for human consumption. Only an adequate water filtration system offers cafes & restaurants potable water and at the same time meet the legal obligations.

Taumata Arowai Drinking Water Safety Plan

Safe water for better taste & happy customers

If your rural foodservice, eatery or food prep depends on its own water supply, you are responsible for the whole water system at your facility. Not only for a good coffee or delicious food, the water used and provided must be safe for human consumption. Rural cafes & restaurants also need potable water for their bathroom facilities/ toilets.

What are the responsibilities of self supplying cafés, restaurants and home-based food businesses?

potable water restaurant

Legal requirements for small drinking-water supplies

The new Water Services Act 2021 applies to all commercial businesses, such as cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, bakeries and taverns, that supply people with drinking water. It also applies to home-based food businesses, meal prep businesses and food premises in general that commercially prepare or process food using water from a private water supply. 

As a small drinking-water supplies, your rural food service is required to provide potable water. Read more about your legal requirements.


Hazards for your drinking water supply

As a catering, food prep business or bakery, it is the responsibility of the self-supplying business to protect the water source from any contamination. Bacteria or viruses in your rainwater tank, heavy metals in your plumbing system or animal faeces from your roof can enter your water system and put the entire facility at risk.

What can you do to keep your drinking water supply safe and therefore meet your legal compliance?

Potable water for cafes, restaurants & rural food service

With our advanced technologies and proven water treatment solutions, we allow your business to be self-supplying. At the same time, you offer your customers and staff safe, potable water. Call us today for an onsite visit and talk to our expert team how we can support your business to meet your legal obligations.

Obligations for food services & food prep businesses nz

When is the water from your own water supply fit human consumption and, thus, meets the requirements of New Zealand’s Drinking Water Standards?

1. Free from contamination

Your drinking water does not contain any harmful microorganisms like bacteria, viruses or parasites, which could cause severe illnesses in the human body at a certain level. Hazardous substances in drinking water also include chemicals like heavy metals or nitrates. Thus, they need to be filtered out before consumption.

However, many contaminants are not visible. Water treatment systems from Aqua Works remove almost 100% of bacteria, viruses and other pollutants from your drinking water supply. With our ozone tank water treatment or UV filtration system, you have control over the water quality in your business. At the same time, it guarantees that you comply with the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards and your legal obligations.

unsafe contaminated drinking water

2. Crystal clear & pure

The physical appearance of the drinking water provided must be crystal clear. The aesthetic condition must not have any turbidity or contain suspended matter. It has to be pure and colourless, with no signs of contamination through, e.g. such as clay or silt. Additionally, It must be odourless and tasteless.

Changes in colour, smell, taste, or suddenly turbidity indicate contamination. Therefore, you should no longer offer this water. Aqua Works provides water filtration systems for clean, odourless and tasteless water for use in the catering industry. We supply excellent filtration systems to improve your water quality: coffee machines, water dispensers, ice machines, or food preparation.

What do you have to do to meet your legal compliance as a rural self supplying cafe, restaurant, bakery, coffee bar or homebased food prep service?

Aesthetically acceptable drinking water...

Rural catering outlets and food prep services with their own drinking water supply are solely responsible for ensuring that their customers and staff have an adequate supply of safe drinking water. Specifically, this means that the self-supplying business must ensure that the water provided for consumption, cooking, and cleaning is of safe, aesthetically acceptable quality. Only then will it meet New Zealand’s drinking water standards.

Quantity of drinking water to be provided ...

All rural, self-supplying hospitality or food prep businesses must ensure an adequate supply of potable water for their customers and staff. Adequate provision of drinking water means that it meets the everyday needs of all consumers, including kitchen staff. In addition, it is of great importance to consider the storage and supply of drinking water for emergencies.

Register with Taumata Arowai ...

By the end of 2022, a small water supplier with its own on-site water source must register with Taumata Arowai, the new Drinking Water Regulator in New Zealand. In addition, the cafe & restaurant needs to renew the registration annually.

Establishing a drinking water safety plan ...

Whether the rural food service or meal prep business receives its drinking water from a rainwater harvesting system, a bore or groundwater, it is always at risk of being contaminated. As a small drinking water supplier, you are responsible for public health and, therefore, must ensure safe drinking water. A professionally developed drinking water safety plan helps you systematically assess all aspects of providing safe drinking water and protecting it from contamination.

Adopting Drinking Water Acceptable Solutions ...

Drinking water suppliers have the option to implement a solution for complying with the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules. Alternatively, they can adopt one of Taumata Arowai’s pre-approved Acceptable Solutions to meet their obligations under the Water Services Act 2021. These solutions are specific to certain water supply types (Roof Water Supply, Bore Water Supply or Rural Agricultural Water Supply) and need to be implemented comprehensively.

Perfect water quality – water filtration with Aqua Works

Compliance with legal regulations is primarily for the health protection of your customers and employees. But professional drinking water treatment also helps you protect your plumbing system from damage. Let’s see which water filter system will improve your water quality.

Legal basis for potable water

Food Act (2014)

Does your foodservice or (home-based) meal prep business have a private water supply through rain or groundwater? Consequently, you must ensure that the water provided is not harmful to the health of your customers and your employees. According to the Health Act (1956) 69G, the reformed Food Act 2014 requires any food service and (home-based) food business in NZ to use and provide potable water at the registered food premises.

This includes all steps to prepare food, i.e. washing the ingredients, making ice cream or cooking pasta. Additionally, it also includes water used for washing utensils or hands, cleaning and sanitising the food premises.

Taumata Arowai

Taumata Arowai – Water Service Regulator

As part of New Zealand’s drinking water reform programme, Taumata Arowai is the new water service regulator of New Zealand. In this role, the regulatory body will ensure safe drinking water for everyone in Aotearoa. One of the main tasks of the new Crown agent will be to enforce a new drinking water regulatory system. But improving the country’s stormwater and wastewater management is also one of its primary goals.

From November 2021, every rural self-supplying food service, food prep and meal prep business will have to register with Taumata Arowai as a drinking water supplier and comply with the new legal requirements. These legal changes may pose some challenges. Aqua Works has the necessary knowledge in rain harvesting and bore water treatment to guide you professionally through the whole process. with registering, running a water safety plan, guide you through the whole process

At Aqua Works, we respect and recognise Te Mana o te Wai. It is part of our core values to look after the source of water and its environment. We value the importance of clean, healthy water and take steps to protect and sustain this vital source. With us, you have a reliable partner by your side who will actively support you every step of the way to safe, potable drinking water for your business.

Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules

The new Rules provide guidance to drinking water suppliers on the steps they must take to deliver safe drinking water. These regulations represent the minimum requirement for water suppliers to comply with the DWSNZ 2022 and the WSA 2021. Hence, the Rules refer to source water, water treatment, distribution, and testing to maintain water quality.

Aqua Works is a local water purification expert with more than 20 years of experience in professional water treatment. We have the knowledge and products to support your educational facility all the way long to comply with the legislation.

Water Services Act (2021)

The new Water Services Act 2021 applies to all commercial businesses, such as cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, bakeries and taverns, that supply people with drinking water. Furthermore, it also applies to home-based food businesses, meal prep businesses, patisseries and food premises in general that commercially prepare or process food using water from a private water supply. These include boutique kitchens, food stalls at farmers’ markets and your personal kitchen if you are baking a cake for a school festival, for example.

As part of the review of New Zealand’s drinking water regulations, the Water Service Act 2021 clarifies the definitions of ‘safe’ and ‘potable’ water which means it is safe to drink; and complies with the drinking water standards for New Zealand.

Water Services (Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand) Regulations 2022

If you are a rural café, coffee shop, bakery, restaurant, pub or home-based food business with your own water supply (groundwater or rainwater), you must comply with NZ’s Drinking Water Standards. In 2022 revised DWSNZ established the maximum acceptable values (MAVs) for various contaminants that may impact the safety and quality of drinking water.

Aqua Works is your competent partner for safe drinking water for your self supplying cafe & restaurant, bakery & pastry shop. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in drinking-water safety in New Zealand. Our commercial water treatment solutions, water purification and UV filter systems help you comply with NZ Drinking Water Standards.

Expert help to meet your legal obligations

At Aqua Works, our experienced team will support your Café, Coffeeshop, Bistro, Bar or Restaurant to comply with New Zealands legislation. Our goal is to be your longterm partner and ensure that your customers and staff enjoy safe water every day.

Aqua Works helps home-based food businesses, cafes & restaurants to offer potable water

The new Water Services Act 2021 and its implied regulations will significantly improve drinking water safety in New Zealand. The background is the outbreak of waterborne Campylobacter infection in Havelock. Thousands of the town residents had contracted the diarrhoea-causing disease from contaminated drinking water, four death were reported.

This event, which occurred in 2016, has shown how essential it is to have sufficient and reliable water treatment in groundwater supplies. Even drinking water obtained through a rain harvesting system or surface water can contain pathogens or other undesirable pollutants such as nitrate, copper or manganese. Hence, raw water must be professionally treated to be suitable for human consumption.

potable water gastronomy

It can be quite a challenge for your foodservice or meal prep business to protect your guests and staff from food and waterborne diseases effectively and sustainably. Bugs such as Campylobacter, but even more frequently E coli or Giardia, threaten the drinking water supply in various rural areas in the Rodney area, North Auckland and South Kaipara.

If you receive your drinking water from your own well or bore, you must treat the raw water yourself before using it in your facility. This also applies if your water supply is based on a rainwater catchment system and contamination with roof pollution is likely. A professional water filtration system will ensure safe potable water and compliance with the drinking water standards of New Zealand.

Ensuring potable water for cafes & restaurants to meet Drinking Water Standards of NZ

With few exceptions, groundwater, surface water, or rainwater is not suitable for human consumption without proper treatment. The raw water may contain undesirable suspended matter, microorganisms such as coliform bacteria, viruses or parasites and various pollutants. Often, the water also has too high a nitrate concentration before treatment. The leading cause of elevated nitrate levels in groundwater and surface waters is agriculture. In many cases, the raw water also has an increased level of iron and manganese. Consequently, it can lead to a brown colouration of the water, impaired taste and deposits in the pipes.

If you draw your drinking water from your own well or a rainwater collection system, you must treat the water yourself before using it. Before water treatment, you should carry out a precise water analysis. This way, we can guarantee that your water filtration system is specifically adapted to your local requirements. Secondly, you meet your legal compliance with the Drinking Water Standards of New Zealand.


Drinking Water acceptable solution

As defined in the Water Services Act (2021), drinking water is used for “oral hygiene or preparing food and drink, washing utensils that are used for eating and drinking, or for preparing, serving, or storing food or drink for human consumption.” Thus, cafes, pastry delivery services, restaurants, bakeries, other food services and home-based meal prep businesses need to install acceptable solutions to provide potable water. It is their responsibility to eliminate the risks of E. coli and Giardia, amongst other bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Our effective, innovative water treatment technologies against bacteria, viruses and other harmful contaminants help you to ensure potable water in all areas of your business.


Aqua Works offers acceptable solutions for cafes & restaurants to provide potable water

Several technologies guarantee safe potable water:

Ultimately, the most cost-effective guarantee of safe potable water is an ultraviolet system that includes sediment filters. Hence, a UV water filter kills 99.99% of all microorganisms, such as algae, protozoa, bacteria and viruses. As we only install quality UV systems, we source our filtration systems from Canada and Italy. All come with a 3-year warranty, the highest in New Zealand.

Firstly, we will visit your property and determine what is required for compliance with potable water delivery. Afterwards, we will recommend a system that guarantees safe water all year round. Our maintenance contract for the entire water treatment system also includes regular water testing. We will carry out the food & safety test together with the annual UV filter check. In this way, we ensure that you always pass the test. Lay back and enjoy consistent water quality in your food premises.


Aqua Works Guarantee* E. coli free drinking water

water that meets New Zealand Drinking Water Standards and all legal requirements. We guarantee E. coli free water year on year as long as we are servicing the UV system. Our annual service reminder will help keep you on the safe side and be up-to-date with the legal requirements.

Innovative ozone water treatment technology

Do you want to enjoy crystal clear and healthy drinking water? The AquaZone Ozone system is the smart answer for your tank water issues. Our ozone tank water treatment system treats, conditions and filters your tank water. Therefore, talk to our service team for more information!

Water is the elixir of life and our passion

best water filtration system nz

Exceptional support for our water filtration customers

20+ years of experience in Rodney means Aqua Works is your local water filtration expert. Our knowledge of the community and the region we live in, combined with our passion for clean drinking water, is the foundation for our daily work. We offer customised water solutions supporting you to meet your personal needs and individual budget. Our connected, smart product range enables you to master the water in your home. At the same time, it ensures the best purification of your water for healthy, tasty water enjoyment.

As a purpose-driven, local family business, we support you in your decision making by sharing our knowledge about your water resources. This way, we help you to be informed, so you can make great decisions empowering your families health and well being. The protection and provision of safe, potable drinking water in our lives is paramount to all of us. Aqua Work’s water filtration systems, UV filter purification, water treatment, ozone systems, and water pumps give you peace of mind to have a quality trusted, safe system. 

Going the extra mile at Aqua Works is what we do to ensure your water is healthy and fit for its purpose. Hence, all our water treatment products are field tried-and-tested, including innovative products and solutions. Do you need help with UV filters, water filtration systems and water pumps or our high-quality UV filter service, water pump repairs or water pump service? Give us a call today at 0800 AQUA WORKS. As we often say, “If you don’t have a filter – You are the filter”.

And if something happens spontaneously, call our 24/7 water pump emergency service at 0212 787 427. We will take care of your problem immediately and make sure that the water in your home is running again as quickly as possible.