Guidance for registering a temporary drinking water supply for a planned event

If you are planning an event such as a festival, sports event, market day, or other organised event where you intend to supply drinking water, you need to comply with the Water Services Act 

You can use a registered drinking water supply, which includes using a registered water carrier. In these situations, the owner and operator of the registered drinking water supply are responsible for ensuring the drinking water supplied complies with the Act. You could also consider providing bottled water. 

If you don't want to use either of those options, you will need to apply to Taumata Arowai for registration of a temporary drinking water supply. 

Overview of registration process

Taumata Arowai has the discretion to approve or decline your application to register a temporary drinking water supply. The decision is based on an assessment of risks associated with the supply and the planned event. Ultimately, Taumata Arowai must be satisfied that drinking water will, if supplied in accordance with your temporary drinking water safety plan and any registration conditions, be safe and comply with drinking water standards. 

If you decide to use a temporary drinking water supply for a planned event, you must: 

  • submit a registration application with a temporary drinking water safety plan for the temporary supply in the approved template,
  • pay the application fee, and
  • if your application is approved and the temporary drinking water supply is registered, ensure that drinking water is supplied in accordance with the temporary drinking water safety plan and any conditions imposed by Taumata Arowai. 

Things to consider

You must ensure the people planning, constructing and operating the temporary drinking water supply have suitable skills, knowledge and experience to supply safe drinking water. The temporary drinking water safety plan should be completed or reviewed by an experienced person before it is submitted. 

Your drinking water safety plan will need to address the steps you have taken to ensure that the temporary drinking water supply for the event will not have negative impact on the source of the water (e.g. contamination by chemicals or changing the flow of water).  You may need to carry out source water quality monitoring and include the results with your application. The application may be declined if this information is not available or testing may be required as part of the conditions. 

What is a planned event?

A planned event is an event on privately or publicly owned land that is generally: 

  • Open to any member of the public, or 
  • A ticketed event, whether free or paid for, advertised to the general public (e.g. music festival, sports event, etc) or 
  • An event that is advertised for members of any group or participants in an activity whether or not it is advertised outside that group (e.g. sheep dog trials). 

A planned event is not intended to include an event that would normally be held on private property for whānau and friends (e.g. ad hoc parties, birthday parties, small weddings, etc) i.e. where the attendees are known to the property owner.   

What is temporary?

A temporary drinking water supply is one that operates for the finite duration of a planned event.  It will generally be of a short-term nature (e.g. over a day or over several days) that may take place once or several times but is not intended to be an ongoing drinking water supply

Temporary drinking water supplies that must be registered

You must apply to register a temporary drinking water supply if your proposed drinking water arrangement fits one of the following categories: 

  • Unregistered drinking water supplies intended to be used to supply drinking water to people attending a planned event: 
    • Supplies that were supplying drinking water to consumers immediately before the commencement of the Water Services Act on 15 November 2021, but which are not yet registered under the Act. 
    • Unregistered water carriers. 
  • The addition of infrastructure for use on a temporary basis for a planned event is a temporary drinking water supply. ‘Infrastructure’ includes but is not limited to: 
    • the connection of pipes to deliver water to temporary taps installed around the event site. 
    • the installation of tanks that are filled from the water supply, including where a water carrier has filled the tank.
  • Using supplies that are not required to be registered under the Act such as domestic self-supplies providing water to single dwellings. 
  • Any other source used to supply drinking water for a planned event that is not covered elsewhere in this section, e.g. water supplies that are not intended to be used for drinking water (e.g. running a hose from a rainwater tank used for gardening. 

To register a temporary drinking water supply

You must:

  • Complete the online form with your contact details, the event date(s) and type of event 
  • Follow instructions in the email from Taumata Arowai to establish a user account in Hinekōrako – our online self-service portal, so you can complete the registration application form 
  • Complete the application form including attaching your temporary drinking water safety plan, with details of the proposed temporary drinking water supply. 

 To complete the application form you will need to know: 

  • expected number of people likely to attend the event 
  • number of consumers of the supplied drinking water, including workers at the event or other users such as food trucks 
  • event dates, including for set up and close-down of the event if the drinking water supply will be available to workers or other consumers 
  • names and contact details of the people who will be operating the temporary drinking water supply.

Timeframe for processing applications

There is no statutory timeframe in the Water Services Act for processing applications to register a temporary drinking water supply for a planned event. We will aim to process  your application within 20 working days. However, this will be dependent on the complexity of the proposed water supply.  

We recommend you submit your completed application and temporary drinking water safety plan at least 30 working days before the proposed event for Taumata Arowai to: 

  • process the application,  
  • engage with you and obtain further information if needed, and 
  • provide our decision. 

It also provides time for you to make alternative arrangements if the application is declined. 

If you submit your application too close to the start of your event, Taumata Arowai may not be able to complete its assessment of your application or register your temporary drinking water supply.  

If approved, you must ensure the registration record is updated if any information provided in the registration application changes prior to the event. Any changes to the water supply may result in the application being reconsidered if the risk assessment changes. 

Registrations of temporary drinking water supplies for planned events will be published on the Taumata Arowai website. They are not recorded in the Public Register of Drinking Water Supplies. 

Temporary drinking water safety plan

A temporary drinking water safety plan, using this approved template, must be submitted with an application to register a planned event temporary drinking water supply. The template includes guidance on completing it. 

The application will not be assessed without the submission of a temporary drinking water safety plan in the correct template. 

Conditions may be applied to the registration

Taumata Arowai may register a temporary drinking water supply subject to conditions it considers necessary to ensure the drinking water is safe and complies with drinking water standards.  

Conditions may include but are not limited to: 

  • Source water and drinking water testing and reporting requirements.
  • Minimum treatment requirements for drinking water e.g. for filtration, disinfection, residual disinfection.
  • Water quality monitoring with acceptable levels for specified determinands (e.g. freely available chlorine residual, pH, turbidity) and reporting requirements.
  • Obligation to immediately notify Taumata Arowai in the event of any incidents or issues which may result in drinking water being unsafe, non-compliant with the drinking water standards, or insufficient.   
  • Requirements on the training, experience and skills  of people working on the water supply for the planned event. 

A post-event report, which must include water quality monitoring results, information on any conditions that have not been met, incidents or notifications, and any complaints about the water, will be a standard condition for all registrations of planned temporary drinking water supplies. 

A single application for multiple events within a 12-month period

Event organisers can apply to register temporary drinking water supplies for multiple events provided the same information applies to all events, including the location and premises, numbers of people expected, the water supply arrangements and under the same event organiser.   

Registrations for temporary drinking water supplies for multiple planned events can only be completed for events within a 12 month period from the date of the submission. 

Any changes to information provided in the application form, after approval is provided, must be immediately advised to Taumata Arowai by updating the registration record or at least 20 days prior to the next planned event, whichever is the shorter. 

Conditions may require specific testing and reporting of results for each event if multiple events are approved on one application.