Networked and community drinking-water supplies

Council networked supplies information

Approximately 80% of people in Bay of Plenty and Lakes Districts receive water from a council water supply. The majority of council owned and operated drinking-water supplies are considered to be safe.  If you have questions about the quality or safety of your council-supplied water contact your local council.

For more information about how well your supply complies visit here or to read the Annual Report on Drinking-water Quality for New Zealand visit here.


Private networked water supplies information 

Private networked supplies are those non-council owned and operated supplies that serve 25 or more people for more than 60 days a year. 

Many private networked supplies are not considered to be safe unless it can be demonstrated that there is adequate source protection or treatment, and monitoring and maintenance in place.


How to make sure your supply is safe

A safe water supply has the following components:

  1. Stopping contaminants getting into your water in the first place.
  2. Removing dirt and killing any germs that do get into your source water (such as installing some form of water treatment device).
  3. Stopping water from getting re-contaminated in your tank or pipework.
  4. Checks, monitoring and maintenance to make sure the above points are happening.

Each networked supply is required to be monitored by the water supplier but Health Protection Officers working for Toi Te Ora may also take samples to check on water quality.  All samples are analysed for compliance with the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand.

If you supply water to your neighbours then you may need to be registered, see 'Registering a community drinking water supply' below for more details.


Sampling and analysis

All suppliers should undertake some water sampling (monitoring) to ensure that the barriers and treatment in place is working and no contamination of the supply is occurring prior to reaching the consumer.

The level of assurance gained from monitoring is related to the number of samples that are taken over a monitoring period, so low sample numbers gives a low level of assurance.

The main consideration for monitoring is for microbiological safety because illness is more likely to be immediate and widespread when due to microbiological contamination. Nonetheless the supplier should also know whether there are chemicals of concern in the supply, but generally this may be determined by one-off sampling. Check that the laboratory you use is recognised by the Ministry of Health for the analysis they are going to do.


Community-purpose buildings with their own supply

These may include taps at informal camping grounds and picnic sites, community halls, some marae and Government premises such as prisons, hospitals and rural schools. The owner or operator of these sites is responsible for the water quality. Most Community-purpose buildings with their own supply require registration. See information on registered community drinking-water supplies here.


Drinking-water services and assessment 

Toi Te Ora Public Health is responsible for auditing the performance and management of all networked neighbourhood to large drinking-water supplies and for providing assistance and advice to small supplies through our Health Protection Officers and the Ministry of Health’s Technical Assistance Programme (TAP).

Toi Te Ora’s Drinking-water Assessors are part of the Central North Island Drinking-water Assessment Unit, an IANZ accredited inspection body that works on behalf of the Ministry of Health to ensure community drinking-water supplies are safe. For more information on drinking-water regulation, visit here.


Drinking-water assistance programme

Many small rural New Zealand communities don’t have access to safe drinking water and it’s these communities Toi Te Ora would like to help.

The Drinking-water Assistance Programme, which has been running since 2005, assists small drinking-water supplies to ensure safe water for their communities. 

Contact us for more information.



Fluoridated water is supplied to only 15% of the Bay of Plenty districts, via the Whakatāne Town (including Ōhope), Taupō township and Turangi water supplies.

Learn more about:


Single building supply legal requirements

Single buildings must have a safe and potable water supply as required by the Building Act. For matters relating to the provision of drinking water to new buildings, contact your local council

An example of how a single building with its own private drinking-water supply onsite and catering for a large number of people can demonstrate safe and potable water can be read here.