Water Services Act 2021: Fact Sheets to assist Drinking Water Suppliers with their compliance journey

Dec 15, 2022 | Drinking Water, Insights

GWE is delighted to announce the release of its 11 Fact Sheets to assist drinking water suppliers in their compliance with the Water Services Act 2021. The Fact Sheets have been developed as a series of comprehensive and easy to read one-page documents that provide information on key topics and answer most common questions relating to compliance with the Water Service Act 2021. The Fact Sheets summarise a range of information already available from Taumata Arowai, says Maria Johnson, GWE’s Water Sector Lead. 

To download your copies of the Fact Sheets, just click the image below.

The primary purpose of the Fact Sheets is to give you a simple summary of the regulatory framework, understand your obligations and timeframes for compliance, choose your most suited supply category and compliance pathway, and give you simple information on all areas of the supply. 

“As a Drinking Water Supplier, this reform will have an effect on your business and you will have to adapt to the changes. You may choose to be an early adopter for brand reasons and peace of mind or leave it till later to see how the market responds, says Maria”.

Our Fact Sheets (FS) comprise the following:

FS#1: Regulatory Framework of the Act

This Fact Sheet summarises the relevant New Zealand legislation you must comply with as a drinking water supplier. These include:

  • The Water Services Act 2021 and Taumata Arowai as Regulator of Drinking Water
  • The Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022
  • The Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand and Aesthetic Values 2022
  • The Drinking Water Acceptable Solutions 2022

FS#2: Compliance Timeline under the Act

This Fact Sheet provides the registration and compliance timeframes based on your supply size and registration status prior to November 2021

Registration is via Hinekōrako, the new on-line portal from Taumata Arowai.

FS#3: Key Terms under the Act

This Fact Sheet is not intended to give a complete list of definitions of key terms under the Act, but rather provides a short list to help drinking water suppliers understand the most important key terms in the context of the legislation. The key terms include the supply sizes defined under the act:

  • A very small supply serves less than 25 people.
  • A small supply serves 26-100 people.
  • A medium supply serves 101-500 people.
  • A large supply serves more than 500 people.

FS#4: Drinking Water Safety Plan (WSP), Taumata Arowai’s requirements under the Act

The Act requires all suppliers to develop a WSP as part of demonstrating compliance within the expected timeline. The WSP is every supplier’s plan for providing safe water to its consumers. Our Fact Sheet summarises the information required to be captured in the WSP, which include all areas of the supply and a Source Water Risk Management Plan. 

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

FS#5: Drinking Water Acceptable Solutions

Acceptable Solutions provide drinking water suppliers with a ready-made option to meet their compliance obligations under the Act. They apply to particular supply types and situations and must be implemented in their entirety. Our Fact Sheet summarises what Acceptable Solutions are and key criteria to be able to adopt an Acceptable Solution. 

The three available Acceptable Solutions are for the following source water/supplies:

  • Mixed-Use Rural water supplies – where water is provided at a restricted volume (trickle feed) to a supply storage tank on a consumer’s property.
  • Roof water supply – where water is supplied to a building or group of buildings which share the same water source.
  • Spring or bore water supplies – where drinking water is supplied from a bore or spring.

There is no need to have a WSP or comply with the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022 when adopting an Acceptable Solution.

FS#6: Drinking Water Sources Risk Management

This Fact Sheet provide key tips for risk management of rainwater, surface water, groundwater and tankered water sources.

These key tips need to be incorporated in your source water risk management plan.

FS#7: Water Treatment Processes, Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022

This Fact Sheet presents the most common treatment methods available for suppliers and required in the Rules according to the type and size of your supply. The Fact Sheet covers:

  • Pre-treatment
  • Filtration (cartridge, sand or silica media, ceramic filters, activated carbon filters, ion exchange filters and reverse-osmosis)
  • Disinfection (chlorine and UV)

FS#8: Storage and Distribution, Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022

The transmission of water from the treatment plant to the various consumers is done in two stages, storage and distribution / reticulation. The integrity of a well-managed distribution system is one of the most important barrier that protects drinking water from contamination.

This Fact Sheet presents preventative measures that should be taken in the management of your distribution system as well as key tips on good practice management. It includes backflow prevention, a major risk in distribution systems.

FS#9: Monitoring, Reporting and Notifications under the Act

Monitoring is an essential part of the multiple barrier approach to good drinking water management. This Fact Sheet summarises the monitoring and reporting requirements, including notifications to Taumata Arowai and emergency warnings if the water was to become unsafe to drink.Water samples should be tested by a laboratory registered in Hinekōrako.

FS#10: Water Supply Categories and Rule Modules

To understand what specific rule or Acceptable Solution to follow, it is important drinking water suppliers understand the most appropriate category of supply that applies to them. This Fact Sheet is an extract of the relevant information from the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022 to help suppliers determine their most suitable supply category.

Supply types include:

  • Very small communities
  • Self-supplied buildings
  • Water carrier supplies
  • Community drinking water stations
  • Network supplies
  • Water carrier services
  • Temporary drinking water supplies

FS#11: Key Tips Application of the Rule Modules, Compliance and Reporting

This Fact Sheet is an extract from the relevant information from the Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules 2022 to help suppliers determine how to apply each rule module and associated compliance and reporting requirements. We recommend reading FS#10 first to familiarise yourselves with the water supplies categories and rules modules.

For further information contact,

Maria Johnson, Water Sector Leader, GWE Consulting Engineers
e. maria.johnson@gwe.co.nz
p. 021 288 8782

About GWE Consultants Ltd

GWE is a growth company and a leading provider of professional engineering services to the infrastructure and land/property development sectors. We specialise in environmental services, geotechnical, land development, drinking water, wastewater engineering and stormwater management. We currently have a number of opportunities for graduate, mid-career and senior engineers and scientists. To find out more visit our careers page, https://gwe.co.nz/careers/