Fact Sheet 9, Water Services Act 2021

    Monitoring, Reporting and Notifications

    Monitoring is an essential part of the multiple barrier approach to good drinking water management. The results of monitoring indicate whether your barriers to contamination are working properly.

    The monitoring and reporting must be done as stated in the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022 or Acceptable Solution 2022 adopted and include sampling at the source, treatment and in the distribution system for a range of parameters.

    Water samples should be tested by a laboratory registered in Hinekōrako, the Taumata Arowai online portal.

    Reporting on routine monitoring should be done in the format and frequency stated in the Rules or Acceptable Solution adopted.


    The Act contains many requirements for drinking water suppliers to notify Taumata Arowai. These notifications are required as follows:
    • Buffer the demand of water against the ability for the system to supply it.
    • Drinking water safety issue.
    • Non-compliant laboratory result.
    • Ability to maintain sufficient supply at imminent risk.
    • Restriction or interruption of supply.
    • Notification of other supplier or unregistered supply.
    • Unplanned supply.
    • Intention to cease ownership, limit or reduce supply.

    There are currently no notifiable risks and hazards; however, these are required to me managed as part of your supply Water Safety Plan (WSP).

    Notifications can be done through Hinekōrako if your supply account has been set up, or via the online forms in Taumata Arowai website.

    Taumata Arowai will assess each notification based on five decision making criteria to help determine whether they will respond and how they will respond. These criteria are:

    • Implications for Te Mana o te Wai.
    • The risk of harm caused by the event.
    • The water supplier’s capability to resolve the event.
    • The environmental risk of the event.
    • Whether a response is an effective use of their resources.

    Taumata Arowai will acknowledge the receipt of a notification and, following assessment, provide an update. They may only be able to provide a confirmation that they are not taking action.

    Emergency Warnings

    Drinking water suppliers have a responsibility to make sure the water they provide is safe. If for any reason, you think it might not be, you need to:
    • Take immediate action to protect public health.
    • Keep your consumers informed.
    • Notify Taumata Arowai through Hinekōrako or use the online form on their website.
    • Call Taumata Arowai if there is an immediate risk of serious illness, injury or death arising from your drinking water supply and the situation cannot be immediately controlled.
    • Investigate the source or cause of the problem.
    • Take remedial action to rectify the problem.
    • Identify and implement measures required to ensure that the problem does not reoccur.
    • Take all practicable steps, to the satisfaction of Taumata Arowai to advise affected consumers and drinking water suppliers that drinking water is or may be unsafe and what measures should be taken to protect public health (for example boiling).

    The methods by which the warnings/notifications are done should be defined in your contingency plan (developed as part of your WSP); it can be a combination of physical warning signs, social media posts, phone calls or anything that is the most suited to your particular supply type and consumers.

    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.