Fact Sheet 4, Water Services Act 2021

    Drinking Water Safety Plan

    The Water Services Act 2021 requires all suppliers to develop a Drinking Water Safety Plan (WSP) as part of demonstrating compliance within the expected timeline.

    The WSP is every supplier’s plan for providing safe water to its consumers and covers compliance with the DWSNZ 2022, Drinking Water Aesthetic Values 2022, and Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022.

    The only exemption from preparing a WSP is if a supply decides to, and is able to, adopt an Acceptable Solution.

    While Taumata Arowai does not approve WSP’s they can audit your supply to make sure that you are implementing the WSP.

    The WSP covers every aspect of providing safe drinking- water, identifying the events that could cause water to become unsafe to drink (including not enough water) and developing plans to manage these. The WSP covers the three parts of the supply:

    • Catchment and intake.
    • Treatment.
    • Storage and distribution.

    The WSP helps identify whether any of the following four barriers to contamination are missing:

    • Minimising contamination of the source water.
    • Removing particles from the water (where many of the pathogens hide).
    • Killing or inactivating pathogens.
    • Preventing recontamination after treatment.

    Other key aspects of the WSP include:

    • Developing a plan to achieve compliance.
    • Barriers to contamination and Critical Control Points.
    • Improvement Schedule.
    • Contingency plans.

    Multiple Barriers: a key approach…

    Using multiple barriers (or control measures) against contaminants is a key approach because if one barrier fails, the remaining barriers will reduce the likelihood of contaminants passing through the system and causing harm to consumers.

    Source Water Risk Management Plan

    A Source Water Risk Management Plan forms part of your WSP.

    Source water risk management involves mitigating the chance of any water contamination occurring to your source water in the first place. Where contamination has already occurred, it involves you managing the impact of the contamination on your supply to prevent any further harm.

    Document how you are managing, controlling, or eliminating source water risks as part of your approach in your source water risk management plan. And, if an adverse event occurs in the supply catchment which threatens the safety of the drinking water supply, you must be able to implement the mitigation measures for the supply.

    Your plan should be kept in a central place that is easily accessible to staff.

    All New Zealanders need access to SAFE drinking water.

    Download this free guide to help understand the Reform of the Water Sector (Drinking Water) in New Zealand and the new Water Services Act 2021.