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New Standards and Rules

View our drafts

We have developed these draft documents in collaboration with sector reference groups from various water supply types across Aotearoa.

These drafts have been published to share our initial thinking with you. We appreciate all the submissions through our public consultation from 17 January until 28 March 2022.

New Drinking Water Standards

One of the key differences from the existing Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ) is that we have separated the Drinking Water Rules and Aesthetic Values out from the Standards.

These draft Drinking Water Standards will set the Maximum Acceptable Values (MAVs) for a range of contaminants which can affect the safety and quality of drinking water. They are based on guideline values set by the World Health Organisation. These new Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand have been largely carried over from the existing Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand, however we are consulting on small changes.

New Drinking Water Aesthetic Values

Drinking water not only needs to be safe. It needs to taste and smell acceptable too. The draft Drinking Water Aesthetic Values are based on World Health Organisation values.

New Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules

The new Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules will tell drinking water suppliers what they need to do to demonstrate compliance with the Drinking Water Standards.

Some of the other key differences from the old DWSNZ is that the new rules have:

  • different levels of complexity to match the complexity of supplies
  • a new format, grouping rules into modules to make it easier for suppliers to find the rules that apply to their supplies
  • a greater emphasis on testing to identify and reduce risks
  • new requirements for source water testing and distribution system monitoring
  • new rules for very small (<50 people) and small (50-500 people) supplies
  • discontinued the DWSNZ secure bore water criteria. All water supplies will need some form of treatment unless an exemption is granted by Taumata Arowai
  • a new chemical compliance section for large (>500 people) supplies.

We are preparing guidance to assist water suppliers to understand and interpret the rules. We will make this available to water suppliers when a draft is completed.

Public consultation

We’re now analysing the submissions received and will share a summary of them once this is complete, including any changes we make to finalise the documents and what this means for drinking water suppliers.