The Annual Report on Drinking-water Quality summarises drinking-water compliance for the 485 registered networked drinking-water supplies that served populations of more than 100 people in the period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
The 485 supplies provided water to 4,202,000 people in total.
In the reporting period, 78 percent of the report population (3,155,000 people) received drinking-water that complied with all the Standards, which is a decrease of 0.6 percent compared with the previous reporting period.
Compliance with the Standards was generally highest for the large suppliers, and decreased progressively through suppliers in medium, minor and small population supply size categories.
To fully comply with the Standards, a supply must meet the bacteriological, protozoal and chemical requirements, which includes following the prescribed sampling and monitoring schedule.
Some of the key health findings during the reporting period are:
- 95.6 percent of the report population (4,017,000 people) received drinking-water that complied with the bacteriological Standards, which is an increase of 0.4 percent compared with the previous period. Bacterial contamination in the drinking-water supply is a key public health risk so it’s important to maintain compliance.
- 78.7 percent of the report population (3,305,000 people) received drinking-water that complied with the protozoal Standards, which is a decrease of 1.3 percent compared with the previous period.
- 98.9 percent of the report population (4,157,000 people) received drinking-water that complied with the chemical Standards, which is a decrease of 0.2 percent compared with the previous period.
Water safety plans are a key part of the drinking-water safety system. They are fundamental to a supplier being able to produce safe drinking-water and having confidence that the drinking-water is safe. A total of 44 supplies, together serving 121,000 people, were not implementing a current, approved water safety plan as required by the Health Act.
This decrease in compliance with the duty to implement a water safety plan was expected. Many suppliers delayed submitting updated plans until Taumata Arowai took over as the regulator so that they do not have to resubmit the plan if requirements change.
Note: Taumata Arowai is the new water services regulator for New Zealand following the passing of the Water Services Regulator Bill. The role of drinking-water regulator shifted from the Ministry of Health to Taumata Arowai on 15 November 2021.
Find out more about Taumata Arowai.