Fact Sheet 1, Water Services Act 2021

    Regulatory Framework

    If you supply drinking water to others, outside of your own home, you are a drinking water supplier and must comply with the relevant New Zealand legislation including:

    The Water Services Act 2021

    The Act imposes a duty of care on all drinking water suppliers to ensure the water they supply is safe to drink regardless of registration status, size, timeframes, etc. Directions and compliance orders stated in the Act are intended to ensure that unacceptable risks to public health are resolved in a timely way.

    Compliance Regulatory Framework

    Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022

    The rules inform drinking water suppliers on what they need to do to demonstrate compliance with the DWSNZ. Key features of the rules include:

    • Different levels of complexity to match the complexity of supplies
    • Different rules for very small (<25 people), small (26-100 people), medium (101-500 people) and large supplies (>500 people)
    • Requirements for source water testing and distribution testing and monitoring
    • A format grouping rules into modules to make it easy for suppliers to find the rules that apply to their supplies.

    Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand and Aesthetic Values 2022

    The DWSNZ set the Maximum Acceptable Values (MAVs) for a range of contaminants which can affect the safety and quality of drinking water. The Aesthetic Values set out the Guideline Values (GVs) for a range of contaminants that affect how the water smells and tastes. The MAV and GVs are based on guideline values set by the World Health Organisation.

    Drinking Water Acceptable Solutions 2022

    The Acceptable Solutions provide drinking water suppliers with ready-made options to meet their compliance obligations. A supplier can choose to either develop a solution that complies with the rules or adopt one of the acceptable solutions:

    • Drinking Water Acceptable Solution for roof water supplies
    • Drinking Water Acceptable Solution for spring and bore water supplies
    • Drinking Water Acceptable Solution for mixed- use rural water supply

    More acceptable solutions to come.

    Taumata Arowai, Water Services Regulator

    • Administers the regulatory framework set out in the Act
    • Focus on drinking water quality
    • Powers to prosecute for breaches of the legislation
    • Uses enforcement tools proportionate to the risk, scale, and complexity of the supply.

    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.