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Monitoring water quality

What is water quality monitoring and what monitoring, and reporting are drinking water suppliers required to do?

Drinking water suppliers need to monitor drinking water quality to confirm that drinking water won’t cause a serious risk of illness or harm to the people who consume it. This includes sampling and testing water and checking to make sure that systems and equipment are calibrated and working correctly.

Water quality monitoring is essential to ensure that the drinking water you supply is safe.

New Drinking Water Standards, Rules and Aesthetic Values

Following public consultation in early 2022, new Drinking Water StandardsDrinking Water Quality Assurance Rules, and Aesthetic Values have been published and come into effect on 14 November 2022.

The existing Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand will remain in effect until then. 

Find out more about the new Standards, Rules and Aesthetic Values.

Your responsibilities

All registered drinking water suppliers must ensure the water they supply is safe and that it complies with the existing Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand. From 14 November 2022, the new StandardsRules and Aesthetic Values will come into effect.

We understand that it may be difficult for registered water suppliers to implement sampling and compliance reporting requirements by 14 November 2022, therefore we expect suppliers to comply with the new reporting requirements by 1 January 2023. 

You must also use an accredited laboratory to analyse source water, raw water, and drinking water as part of any monitoring requirements in your Drinking Water Safety Plan (which includes any approved water safety plan carried over from the Health Act 1956).

You don’t have to routinely provide Taumata Arowai all of your monitoring results. However, you must keep records of your monitoring results and provide them to Taumata Arowai if we ask for them. 

Reporting requirements will change when new Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules are introduced. Information will be provided on the new reporting requirements closer to that time.

For now, if you believe drinking water you have supplied is or may be unsafe, or doesn’t comply with the existing Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand, you must act immediately to prevent harm or illness. This includes telling affected consumers what has happened and what they can do to keep safe (for example, by boiling their drinking water). You must also notify Taumata Arowai