Operating under the current Drinking-water Standards

There are some instances where the existing Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand don’t align with the Water Services Act 2021. This page provides guidance about what to do when this occurs.

Where the existing Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand don’t align with the Water Services Act 2021, the Act takes precedence and suppliers must comply with the Act.

In early 2022, Taumata Arowai will be consulting on new Drinking Water Standards, Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules, Drinking Water Acceptable Solutions and Aesthetic Values. We anticipate these will come into effect from July 2022.

In the meantime, you must continue to comply with the existing Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand.

All drinking water suppliers have a duty to supply safe drinking water.

Registered drinking water suppliers must:

  • Continue to carry out drinking water quality monitoring activities in accordance with your current arrangements Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand 
  • Notify Taumata Arowai if there are issues which could affect the safety, compliance or sufficiency of the drinking water you supply. If the matter is urgent call 04 889 8350
  • When responding to an incident you must, as a minimum, undertake the relevant actions specified in the Water Services Act 2021 and your drinking water safety plan for the affected supply
  • Continue to monitor and test your drinking water quality
  • Keep and maintain records
  • Keep following rules and approvals you already have in place.

If you are unsure on which standards and rules apply during this transition period or need further information please email us on info@taumataarowai.govt.nz 

Key Changes

  • Drinking Water Online (DWO) and the ESR register will be discontinued. If you use these systems you should have received an email from the Ministry of Health asking you to download your data before these systems close.
  • Drinking Water Assessors (appointed under the Health Act 1956) do not have functions or powers under the Water Services Act 2021.
  • Drinking water suppliers can continue to follow authorised approvals and compliance variations previously agreed with their Drinking Water Assessor, until the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules and revised Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand are implemented (unless directed otherwise by Taumata Arowai).
  • Acceptable Solutions may provide a means of complying with the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules in some situations.
  • Drinking water suppliers won’t need to submit routine reports to Taumata Arowai until the new Drinking Water Quality Assurance rules are in place. However, we may contact drinking water suppliers directly to request records at any time and will require information for annual reporting.
     

FAQs

Q. Can I still rely on secure bore water status granted under the current Drinking-water standards for New Zealand?

A. You may continue to provide drinking water without using a residual disinfectant, until the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules and revised Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand are implemented (unless directed otherwise by Taumata Arowai). You must ensure that the drinking water you provide is safe. Drinking water safety plans submitted under the Water Services Act 2021 must provide for residual disinfection unless an exemption is obtained.


Q. How do I allocate or change the log credit requirement?

A. Drinking water suppliers must continue to use the protozoa log credit requirements that have been previously assigned. Log credits will need to be reassessed when the draft Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules are implemented.

Q. Can I change the priority assigned to a determinand for my supply?

A.
Drinking water suppliers must continue to use the priority determinands that have been previously assigned. The relevance of priority determinands will need to be reassessed when the draft Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules are implemented.

Q. I am a drinking water carrier. How do I demonstrate compliance?

A. Drinking water carriers must ensure that the water they supply complies with the Drinking-Water Standards for New Zealand. Monitoring and sampling must be undertaken in accordance with your water safety plan (or drinking water safety plan). Water carriers who are not currently registered will need to register and provide a drinking water safety plan under the Water Services Act 2021 by 15 November 2022.