Te Whakamōhio i a Taumata Arowai,
Notify Taumata Arowai

As a drinking water supplier you must prepare for and respond to an incident that puts the safety or amount of your drinking water supply at risk.

If you think your water supply may be unsafe you must take all necessary steps to protect the health of consumers. You must advise people who may be affected straight away and notify Taumata Arowai.

If there is an imminent risk of serious illness or death arising from your drinking water supply and the situation can't be immediately controlled, or you need to discuss an urgent matter outside of office hours (Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm), contact Taumata Arowai by calling 04 889 8350. This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In all other situations please notify us in the following ways:

  • Once you have a user account in Hinekōrako – the self-service portal for drinking water suppliers, you can use the notification function in Hinekōrako.
  • If you don’t have a Hinekōrako account you can notify us through our online forms below.

Laboratories have their own parallel duty to notify Taumata Arowai that drinking water does not comply with drinking water standards.  This does not detract from the requirement for drinking water suppliers to notify Taumata Arowai as soon as practicable after a non-compliant test result becomes known. Drinking water suppliers must notify Taumata Arowai, even if they are aware that the laboratory has, or intends, to do so. 

Risk to drinking water safety or quantity

Use the form below for the following scenarios:

  • if your drinking water doesn’t comply with standards
  • if your drinking water is, or may be unsafe
  • if you have a notifiable risk or hazard
  • your ability to maintain sufficient water is at imminent risk
  • you have a planned restriction or supply interruption longer than 8 hours
  • you have an unplanned restriction or supply interruption longer than 8 hours

Stop, limit, reduce supply or change ownership 

Use the form below for the following scenarios:

  • if you intend to stop supplying drinking water
  • if you intend to limit connections to a supply
  • if you intend to reduce or limit volume supplied
  • if you intend to change ownership of a supply

What are my responsibilities?

If the drinking water you supply is or may be unsafe or does not comply with drinking water standards you must: 

  • take immediate action to ensure that public health is protected 
  • notify Taumata Arowai  
  • investigate the source or the cause of the risk 
  • take remedial action to rectify the situation
  • take all practicable steps, to the satisfaction of Taumata Arowai, to advise affected consumers about the risk to their drinking water. This may include a boil water or do not use water notice
  • identify and implement measures required to make sure that the incident does not happen again. 

You must consider Te Mana o te Wai and source water if relevant when planning for and responding to an incident. 

What must I notify Taumata Arowai about?

If you are a drinking water supplier with registered drinking water supplies, the Water Services Act 2021 requires you must notify Taumata Arowai when the following happens 

  • There is a reasonable likelihood that your drinking water is or may be unsafe  
  • Your drinking water doesn’t comply with drinking water standards 
  • You have become aware that a notifiable risk or hazard exists. Taumata Arowai may, by notice, declare risks or hazards that relate to the supply of drinking water to be notifiable. None have been declared at this time. 
  • You plan to interrupt the supply of drinking water for more than 8 hours. This will require prior approval from Taumata Arowai. You must also take all practicable steps to advise affected consumers. 
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances or emergency, the supply of drinking water will be interrupted for more than 8 hours. You must advise Taumata Arowai of the reason for the interruption no later than 24 hours after the supply was interrupted. You must also take all practicable steps to advise affected consumers. 
  • You believe your ability to maintain a sufficient quantity of drinking water is at imminent risk. In these circumstances you must also notify Fire and Emergency New Zealand, local authorities in your area and other suppliers you supply to. 
  • You have temporarily supplied drinking water from an unregistered supply due to the usual drinking water being insufficient or unsafe (unplanned Supply of Drinking water). Notify Taumata Arowai immediately and comply with any directions Taumata Arowai gives you. You must also ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that the water you supply is safe and meets the drinking water standards.   
  • You intend to cease being the owner of a drinking water supply. If ownership is being transferred you must provide details of the new owner. 
  • You intend to cease supplying drinking water to consumers, limit the volume you supply or reduce or limit the volume of water you provide to consumers or other drinking water suppliers. You must also advise your territorial authority.  This notification must be at least 30 days before you intend to implement the change. 

A registered supplier must also notify Taumata Arowai as soon as practicable if they know another drinking water supplier is supplying drinking water in infringement of requirements in: 

  • their drinking water safety plan 
  • the drinking water standards 
  • an enforceable undertaking entered into with Taumata Arowai 
  • a compliance order or other direction of Taumata Arowai. 

There is a requirement to notify Taumata Arowai if you know that drinking water is being supplied from an unregistered supply. Many supplies are not currently required to be registered. Supplies won’t all be registered until 15 November 2025. For now, we are not expecting to be notified of unregistered supplies unless you are concerned about the safety of the drinking water. 

What will Taumata Arowai do?

We use the information we receive to inform our decision on whether we respond to an event and how we will respond.  

Our response will depend upon the circumstances. This may range from telephone confirmation that the supplier is appropriately resolving the issue, through to an onsite compliance assessment or an investigation to determine how a failure has occurred.  

The information we gather from notifications over time will provide valuable insights (such as trends and emerging issues) about drinking water supplies across Aotearoa.

Notifiable risks and hazards

The Water Services Act 2021 gives Taumata Arowai the authority to declare certain risks or hazards that may affect the supply of drinking water. These are called ‘notifiable risks or hazards’. If a drinking water supplier becomes aware that one of these risks or hazards exists, they must immediately notify Taumata Arowai and take various actions in response to the risk or hazard.

We have not specified any notifiable risks or hazards yet but consulted on proposed notifiable risks and hazards late in 2022. 

Our role in an emergency

In an emergency, particularly where there may be multiple supplies, districts or regions affected, Taumata Arowai will take a role to support and coordinate the drinking water component of the broader emergency response. 

We will work with the lead agency to help coordinate drinking water resources regionally and/or nationally, integrating into the most affected relief areas (as our resources permit) to ensure suppliers focus on their task, to restore or maintain a level of safe drinking water supply to their consumers. 

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