The New Zealand Drinking Water Standards are the government issued regulatory requirements for the consumption of drinking water.
Drinking water quality will vary greatly depending on rainfall run-off and the land use of the surrounding catchment. It is always advisable to check whether your drinking water meets the requirements of the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards. This is especially important as water quality is largely impacted by the local environment and can be impacted by contaminants such as nitrates and E. coli.
In April 2018, we began updating our drinking water sampling process to be compliant with the new IANZ Specific Criteria - Ministry of Health Register of Drinking Water Testing Laboratories (Third Edition)2 guidelines. Click here to read more about the changes and how they may affect you.
The Routine (Basic) Water Profile includes the following:
|TEST||TYPICAL RANGE||NZDWS 2005 Maximum Acceptable Value (MAV)||COMMENT|
|pH||5.5 - 7.5||7.0 - 8.5 (Guideline Value)||Groundwater that is low in pH can attack copper piping leading to high levels of dissolved copper.|
|Conductivity||NA||<1500us/cm||Important for ion balance check and other parameter estimation. Used to calculate TDS.|
|TDS||10-500mg/L||<1000 mg/L||Bores close to the ocean can have elevated levels. Water from limestone aquifers can also be high in TDS.|
|Alkalinity||NA||NA||Important for interpretation and other parameter estimation.|
|Calcium||NA||NA||Major ion, used to calculate hardness.|
|Magnesium||NA||NA||Major ion, used to calculate hardness.|
|Hardness||0.1 - 2 mg/L||<200 mg/L||High hardness may cause scale deposition and scum formation. Water with low hardness (<100) may be more corrosive.|
|Sodium||NA||<200 mg/L||Major ion, indicative of salt water intrusion, can cause taste problems.|
|Nitrate||NA||<11.3 mg/L||Important nutrient indicative of fertiliser application and other anthropogenic inputs, health concern (can cause methaemoglobinaemia in bottle fed infants)|
|Chloride||NA||<250 mg/L||Major ion, indicative of salt-water intrusion, can cause taste and corrosion problems.|
|Sulphate||NA||<250 mg/L||Major ion, can cause taste problems.|
|Boron||NA||<1.4 mg/L||Has been detected in some bores from Geothermal sources.|
|Iron||0.1 - 2 mg/L||<0.2 mg/L||High iron is not a health issue, but can lead to staining of laundry and sanitary ware.|
|Manganese||<0.05 mg/L||<0.04 mg/L
|Staining of laundry
|Copper||NA||<2 mg/L||Can be leached from copper piping by acidic/corrosive water.|
|Zinc||NA||<1.5 mg/L||Can be present due to galvanised metal piping.|
|EColi||Not usually detected||<1 in 100mL of sample||Generally not an issue for groundwater but can be detected in shallow bores.|
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