What it means if your drinking water supplier is exempt from some of the requirements in the Water Services Act 2021.

Drinking water suppliers are able to apply for exemptions from some requirements of the Water Services Act 2021 (the Act)

The Act provision for residual disinfection exemptions comes into effect from 1 March 2022. We are unable to consider applications before then.

Types of exemptions

The types of exemptions drinking water suppliers can apply for are:

  • General exemptions

Allow drinking water suppliers to be exempt from complying with a range of legislative requirements. In some situations, it may be unreasonable or impractical to comply with legislative requirements. An exemption can only be granted if it is consistent with the main purpose of the Water Services Act 2021, which is to ensure that drinking water suppliers provide safe drinking water to consumers.

  • Residual disinfection exemptions

Allow drinking water suppliers with piped supply networks to supply drinking water without using residual disinfectants like chlorine. Chlorine is the most common form of residual disinfection for drinking water. An exemption may apply to all or a part of a supply. An exemption can only be granted if it is consistent with the main purpose of the Water Services Act 2021 and if all other legislative requirements will be complied with, including the duty to provide safe drinking water.

  • Class exemptions

General or residual disinfection exemptions that apply to a class of drinking water supplier, rather than a specific drinking water supplier.  Any supplier who comes within the description of the class can choose to rely on the published exemption, without having to make a fresh exemption application.

Exemptions can be issued for a maximum of five years and may have conditions that suppliers must comply with.

Before a class exemption is granted, we must consult with the public. Information about consultation will be provided on our website.

Exemption applications are subject to fees and charges set through regulations.

Current exemptions

In time, you will be able to find out if your drinking water supplier has been granted an exemption, as the public register of drinking water supplies is populated over time by Taumata Arowai.

The full list of all exemptions that have been granted will be available on the Taumata Arowai website.

Please note no exemptions have been granted yet. Applications for residual disinfection exemptions can’t be made until 1 March 2022.

Who to contact

If your drinking water supply has an exemption and you are concerned about the safety of your drinking water, get in touch with your water supplier in the first instance. To find out who supplies your drinking water you can search the public register transferred from the Ministry of Health

Anyone who is affected by an exemption decision may apply to have that decision reviewed by Taumata Arowai. They can apply for a review within 20 working days after the decision first came to their notice.

For more information email info@taumataarowai.govt.nz