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Standards, Rules, and Aesthetic Values

As the water services regulator for Aotearoa New Zealand, we are responsible for developing Drinking Water Standards, Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules, Aesthetic Values, and Acceptable Solutions 

These help us administer the Water Services Act 2021 and ensure communities receive safe drinking water. They came into effect on 14 November 2022. 

Drinking Water Standards

Drinking Water Standards set the Maximum Acceptable Values (MAVs) for a range of substances which can affect the safety and quality of drinking water. The MAVs are based on guideline values set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).  

Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules

The Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules (Rules) set out how drinking water suppliers must comply with key parts of the Drinking Water Standards and the Water Services Act 2021. 

We intend to publish guidance on the Rules. In the meantime, we've clarified some of the Rule interpretations in these tables

Find out more about your reporting requirements under the Rules.

Drinking Water Aesthetic Values

Drinking water not only needs to be safe, but it also needs to look, taste, and smell acceptable too. Aesthetic Values for drinking water specify or provide minimum or maximum values for substances and other characteristics that relate to the acceptability of drinking water. 

Acceptable Solutions

There are a range of ready-made options to help drinking water suppliers meet their compliance obligations under the Water Services Act 2021. These are called Acceptable Solutions.  

They apply to specific supply types and situations and must be implemented in their entirety. 

If you’re a registered supplier and choose to use an Acceptable Solution, then you don’t need to submit a Drinking Water Safety Plan. You do need to let us know you've chosen this option in Hinekōrako, our online self-service portal. For information on how to add an Acceptable Solution to your supply details, please refer to our Edit a supply guidance.