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Self Supplying Schools & ECE

Providing clean, potable drinking water

Water is life. Contaminated water can be life-threatening. It leads to diseases and endangers health, especially that of children and young people. Certain diseases, such as E. coli, Giardia or Cryptosporidium, can spread particularly quickly and widely as a result of polluted water. Thus, the provision of clean, safe drinking water is essential to protect people from water-borne diseases. This is also a key obligation of self supplying schools and educational institutions.

Above all, schools must ensure that the water provided is potable and safe to drink. In New Zealand, schools and early childhood education centres (ECE) are either connected to the municipal water supply system or self-supplying and have their own water supply. The onsite water source is usually either rainwater or groundwater. If the school is on town water, the local authorities regulate the water quality and therefore, are responsible for providing clean drinking water.

In rural areas of New Zealand, most schools and childcare facilities receive drinking water from their own water supply. Hence, these self supplying institutions are considered as small drinking water supplies under Water Services Act (2021). Consequently, they need to comply with various regulations and standards like the  Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand 2022  and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. In this case, the board of trustees (BOT) must ensure that the drinking water is safe and fit for human consumption.

rural self supplying schools

Are you a self-supplying school or childcare centre? 

As a rural school or early childhood education centre with its own water supply, you are responsible for the entire water system at your institution. Firstly, you must provide sufficient potable drinking water for your students and staff. Secondly, you need to keep your drinking water supply clean and safe. And there is more…

What are the responsibility for self supplying schools and childcare facilities?

legislation potable water

Legal requirements for small drinking-water supplies

As a small drinking-water supplies, a self-supplying school or childcare centre, is required to provide safe drinking water. This imposes legal compliances like meeting Section 10 of the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand 2005 (revised 2018) and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Currently, not all rural schools or early childhood education centres (ECE)  comply with their legal obligations. What are the legal requirements for potable water when your school or play centre  is self-supplying?

potable water self supplying schools

Protecting the water source of rural schools and kindergartens?

As a self supplying school or kindy, it is your obligation to keep your water source safe. Contaminants like bacteria or viruses in your rain water tank, heavy metals in your plumbing system or animal faeces from your roof can enter your water system and put the drinking water at risk. 

What actions can rural schools and pre schools take to keep their water source safe?

Protect and sustain your drinking water source

Aqua Works supports you to protect your drinking water source through our years of experience and the use of the most suitable products for your individual needs and location. Ultimately, this is much more cost-effective than trying to treat or replace a contaminated source. Call us for a free on-site assessment.

Self supplying schools & early children education centres (ECE)

Responsibilities self supplying schools and kindergartens to provide potable water

Our brain consists of almost 80 % water. Even a slight loss of water can lead to concentration problems, forgetfulness or headaches. As a result, we are less efficient. Therefore, it is crucial for the health and well-being of children to access safe and adequate drinking water during school hours. Schools and daycare centres in New Zealand are legally required to provide clean, safe water, especially drinking water.

At a rural school or preschool, which has its own water source and thus its own drinking water system, it is responsible for ensuring that sufficient drinking water is available to the students at all times. Firstly, health and safety are the top priorities. Secondly, the self-supplying school is considered a drinking water supplier under New Zealand law. Hence, the following responsibilities arise from the legal requirements.

rural self supplying school potable water

Adequate provision of safe drinking water...

Among their many duties, self supplying schools and early childhood education centres are responsible for providing an adequate supply of safe drinking water to their pupils and staff. Specifically, this means that the self-supplying institution must ensure that everyone is protected from drinking unsafe water. Accordingly, it requires adequate measures taken to prevent contamination by bacteria, protozoa and heavy metals/chemicals in their drinking water system.

Quantity of drinking water to be provided ...

All rural, self-supplying schools and ECEs must provide an adequate drinking water supply for their students and staff.  This means, at least 23 litres of water per person per day must be available for everyday use. The drinking water supply must be sufficient for at least 20 days and provide an average of 4 litres per person per day. Since most schools have drinking water fountains, there must be one bubble fountain for every 60 pupils. Eventually, it is crucial to consider the storage and supply of drinking water for emergencies.

Protect water source from contamination ...

The self-supplying school must protect its water source from any contamination to make it safe for human consumption. First of all, the release of toxic or hazardous substances from the roofs, into the soil around the water source or into the sewage systems could lead to contamination of the entire drinking water supply. Additionally, many school don’t realise that their own plumbing can affect drinking water quality. Years ago, buildings in NZ were built with pipes and fixtures that contain lead which can be released into the water.

Regular monitoring of water quality ...

The self-supplying school or play centre has the responsibility to ensure that the water is safe to drink. However, many contaminants are not visible. Therefore, drinking water quality should be monitored through regular testing. If the water’s colour, smell, or taste changes or suddenly appears cloudy, it indicates that the water is contaminated and should no longer be used. Consequently, a quick water test will bring clarity. If the water is unsafe to consume, the school must take immediate action, and students must be discouraged from drinking the water.

Establishing a drinking water safety plan ...

Whether the drinking water comes from a rainwater harvesting system, a bore or groundwater, it is always at risk of being contaminated. Most importantly, it is the care that the self-sufficient school takes in the catchment, water treatment, storage and distribution of drinking water. Even small drinking water suppliers are responsible for public health and must ensure safe drinking water. Therefore, a professionally prepared water safety plan helps the school to make a systematic assessment of all aspects of providing safe drinking water and protecting it from contamination.

Drinking water treatment ...

Professional water treatment helps to ensure that the provided water is safe to drink and does not put the health of students and staff at risk. The two most widely used water treatment methods in New Zealand are water filtration and water disinfection. First, a water filter removes residues such as turbidity, microorganisms, pesticides, algae, or heavy metals from the drinking water. It is usually combined with UV light and/or chlorine disinfection.

Budgeting & planing water management ...

Schools in New Zealand are required by law to develop 10-year property plans (10YPPs). This sets out, among other things, all health and safety measures to keep the school, including its buildings and environment, in good repair. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the financial governance of the educational institution. Furthermore, their responsibilities also include budgeting and spending of the 5YA funding. It is crucial to incorporate water management in the 10-year property plan (10YPPs) and 5YA funds in the future.

Aqua Works, water experts for rural schools and kindies

We offer information and advice to rural self supplying schools and kindergartens to help you provide clean and safe drinking water for your staff and students. With our long-term experience in commercial water filtration and disinfection we guide you through the whole process.

Legal basis for a self-supplying school

Taumata Arowai and the Water Services Act (2021)

Taumata Arowai is the new water service regulator of New Zealand. As part of the review of New Zealand’s drinking water regulations, the new Water Services Act 2021 came into force in November 2021. This act 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.

At Aqua Works, we respect and recognise Te Mana o te Wai. It is part of our core values to look after the water source 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 who will actively support you every step of the way to safe, potable drinking water for your self-supplying school.

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

These revised regulations replace the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand 2005 (revised 2018). If you are a rural school, ECE or kindergarten that supplies your own water, you need to comply with the new Drinking Water Standards 2022

Aqua Works is your competent partner for safe drinking water for your self supplying school or childcare facility. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the drinking-water safety in New Zealand, professional and commercial water treatment, water purification and UV filter systems.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

As a self supplying school or kindergarten, you are responsible for the health and safety of your institution. This includes the provision of clean drinking water for your teaching staff and students. 

Aqua Works can support your school in reviewing your health and safety systems. At the same time, we assist you to comply with the legal requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Small drinking water supplies

If the rural school or kindergarten receives its water from its own water source, bore, spring or a rain harvesting system, it is considered self-supplying and, therefore, Small Drinking-water Supplies.

However, small water supplies have until 2025 to fulfil their obligations under the Water Services Act, even though they still need to meet the following obligations:

» Registering their drinking water supply with Taumata Arowai.

» Ensuring the safety of the water supply/ drinking water. If any issues arise and the water becomes unsafe, they must take immediate action to resolve the problem.

» Fulfilling their duties as outlined in the Water Services Act 2021.

» Complying with the obligation to report any emergencies to Taumata Arowai.

» Adhering to the record-keeping requirements.

Small suppliers have the option to comply with Taumata Arowai’s Acceptable Solutions instead of following the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules and thus implementing a Drinking Water Safety Plan. This alternative approach provides a practical and cost-effective means of delivering safe drinking water to their community.

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.

Hinekōrako – the New Drinking Water Register for New Zealand

From 2022, the self-supplying school must 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. We are well versed in the New Zealand legislation relating to drinking water. Our knowledge is constantly up to date because we have close contact with the critical authorities and responsible persons.

Expert help to meet your legal obligations

At Aqua Works, our experienced team will support your school or early childhood education centre to comply with New Zealands legislation. Our goal is to be your longterm partner and ensure that your students and staff enjoy safe water every day.

How to ensure safe, potable water at rural schools & daycare centres

E. coli ozone tank water treatment

Keeping roof water safe

The self-supplying school or childcare centre should regularly assess potential hazards of contamination on their property that could affect the water source and, consequently, the water quality. Furthermore, the educational institution should draw up plans to eliminate the risks and review them annually.

Cutting down trees near the facilities and the storage tank, cleaning gutters to keep them free from decomposed vegetation are two measurements that immediately reduce the risk for polluting the drinking water system. If the school collects rainwater from the roof, it can be contaminated by bird poo, decomposing animals and insects, as well as corrosive roof materials, e.g. lead-based paint or bitumen.

animal faeces ground water pollution

Groundwater contamination

If the self-supplying school or kindergarten draws its water from a well or bore, the risk of contaminated groundwater is very likely. Heavy metals, pesticides and other pollutants can be deposited in the groundwater. The primary contaminants in the water can be various chemicals (the use of pesticides and fertilisers in agriculture), as well as sewage (leachate from septic tanks).

Especially in rural areas, there is a hazard of groundwater contamination with nitrates and pharmaceutical residues due to intensive agriculture. But also, the runoff of animal faeces contributes to this pollution. Agricultural activities can leave behind hazardous particles of dust, soot, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals. Therefore, drinking water must be carefully purified and controlled so that it is safe for human consumption.

lead drinking water nz

Heavy metals in plumbing system

Lead, copper, mercury and other heavy metals pose a risk to the human organism. These toxic substances enter the body unnoticed through drinking contaminated water. They accumulate and have various effects on health. Excessive intake of copper leads to severe liver damage, while accumulation of zinc weakens human immune functions. Adolescent children are particularly affected by heavy metal poisoning because their organism tolerates the substances much less.

Usually, the reasons are outdated water pipes in the building or a poorly maintained, domestic water installation. These endanger the water quality and thus the health of your pupils and staff. Flushing the taps in the morning before school starts is already good prevention against heavy metals settling in the pipes overnight.

The expert team at Aqua Works has the knowledge and experience to provide you with encompassing support throughout the whole compliance process.

We can assist you with….

Compliance with NZ legislation

  1.  Registering as a small drinking water supplies with Taumata Arowai.
  2. Developing, establishing and implementing a water safety plan.
  3.  Assisting with 10 Year Property Plan and 5 year Agreement Funding.

Aqua Works smart product choices

  1. Advising the appropriate water supply system & water solutions.
  2. Installing innovative water treatment products to meet compliance.
  3. Leading-edge, modular design to scale up over 5-year funding plan.

Scheduled maintenance

  1. Providing support throughout the whole compliance process.
  2. Ongoing maintenance to meet NZ Drinking Water Standards.
  3. Ensure potable and E. coli free water every day, every year.

Eliminate the risk of contaminated water

Aqua Works has the knowledge and the expertise to help you providing potable water for your students and staff. Our new water filtration technologies and innovative products purify your drinking water and make it safe for human consumption.

Pathway to compliance – Aqua Works is your reliable partner to walk the path together

Aqua Works – your expert for professional water treatment

As a local expert in water treatment, UV filter systems, water filtration, water pumps, rain harvesting, and bore water treatment, we support you to provide safe water for your students and staff all year round. Our team offers you advice and information to ensure your self-supplying school or childcare centre meets the legal requirements. We provide guidance throughout the process, overcoming challenges together and helping you to comply with the required regulations and standards.

Timeline compliance drinking water standards
1. Onsite counsultion

We will visit your self-supplying school or kindy to get an overview of your entire water system. Our technicians will investigate the water supply, buildings and environment, water storage tank and plumbing system. Afterwards, they determine what is required for complying with the Drinking Water Standards of New Zealand to provide potable water all year round.

2. Advising and Planning

Our technicians will recommend a system that guarantees potable water all year round based on your individual needs. Our team will find the best water treatment technology based on your on-site conditions to make your water safe for human consumption. Together, we will set up a plan so you are informed every step of the way and can budget for capital expenditures and annual maintenance costs along the way.

3. Meet legal compliance

Aqua Works has long-term experience in commercial water treatment, water filtration and water disinfection. Therefore, we will professionally guide you through the entire process. Our team will help you to comply with the Water Services Act 2021 & the Drinking Water Standards 2022. Additionally, we assist you in meeting your obligations of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

4. Register as a small drinking water supplies

A self-supplying school or childcare centre is considered as a small drinking water supplies. Therefore, you must comply with NZ Drinking Water Standards and the new Water Services Act 2021. But you also have to register as a Taumata Arowai water supplier. Our team at Aqua Works always keep up to date with the recent legislation. This way, we can support you with the registration.

 5. Establishing a water safety plan accordingly to the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules

We have the expertise and experience to assist you in creating a Drinking Water Safety Plan. From our perspective, as a self-supplying school, you should have a great understanding of the water supply system. Thus, you can identify potential threats to your water supply and possible sources of contamination. In case of an emergency, you need to know exactly what to do.

6. Design and Installation

As a self-supplying school or preschool, you need to have a permanent solution to ensure your drinking water is fit for human consumption. Aqua Works designs and installs a water filtration system that meets your legal requirements to provide potable water for your institution. You can be assured that you are investing in a cost-effective, high-performance and reliable water treatment solution.

7. Training your staff

In the event of a complete service breakdown, the water quality is immediately compromised. Your Water Safety plan will guide you on which actions have to be undertaken. Once the system fails, more than one employee should be aware of what to do. We will train you and your staff in detail to know the risks and corrective action that need to be taken to meet the Standards as quickly as possible.

8. Budgeting and Funding

Based on our experience with self-supplying schools, early childhood education centres and small water suppliers, we support you in preparing your annual budget. Assisting you with your 10-year property plan and the 5-year agreement (5YA) funding program will help you to plan for all of your water-related capital and maintenance costs. This way, you can be assured that you will meet your legal requirements.

9. Annual maintenance & service

Regular maintenance will keep your water supply system permanently free of contamination and will ensure an optimal operation in the long run. Consequently, it continues to deliver potable drinking water over the years. Aqua Works helps you organise your service schedule, keep timelines, and comply with your legal requirements. Our annual service of your water filtration system ensures smooth operation and water quality.

10. Aqua Works Guarantee* E. coli free drinking water

It is 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.

Eliminate the risk of contaminated water

Aqua Works has the knowledge and the expertise to help you providing potable water for your students and staff. Our new water filtration technologies and innovative products purify your drinking water and make it safe for human consumption.

Water is the elixir of life and our passion

Exceptional support for our business customers

Aqua Works has over 20 years of experience as a local expert in commercial water treatment for many industries. We offer water solutions supporting you to meet your individual needs and legal requirements. The modularity of our product range helps you to optimise investment costs. 

At the same time, it ensures the best purification of your water. We deliver customised water treatment solutions to keep your water safe wherever you need it in your business. Aqua Work’s water filtration systems, UV filter purification, water treatment, ozone systems, and water pumps combine sustainability, high performance and cost-efficiency. 

With years of experience and expert advice, our passionate team is here to help you every step of the way to clean and potable drinking water. Our maintenance service guarantees the continuous, reliable operation of the products used. Therefore, we recommend regular maintenance of all water treatment systems to detect possible malfunctions early.

Simultaneously, we eliminate the triggers and avoid costly replacements. And if something should happen spontaneously, call our 24/7 water pump emergency service. We will take care of your problem immediately and make sure that the water in your business is running again as quickly as possible.

At Aqua Works, we go the extra mile to ensure your water is healthy and fit for its purpose. Hence, all our water treatment products are field tried-and-tested, including our new innovative products and solutions. Want to experience our excellent 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.