In this section
We want to make sure that our community has safe drinking water. The Health Act makes the Council responsible for providing a safe and wholesome drinking water supply and to do everything practicable to meet the NZ Drinking Water Standards.
Report an issue with your water
Use our customer enquiry form or call us directly to report a perceived issue with the quality or quantity of your drinking water when connected to our network.
How we protect our water supplies
- Over 400 water samples are taken on a weekly basis and sent to the lab for contamination testing. The results for E-coli normally take a 24 hour turnaround time.
- Every two years the water is also tested for a whole range of regulatory parameters.
- See our recent water quality tests results
- Our water quality monitoring is governed in compliance with Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand.
- There are nine river/gallery intakes and 20 deeper groundwater takes.
- Source, treatment plant and reticulation water is regularly tested for the presence of bacteria. All our Water Supply schemes have a Water Safety Plan (WSP) currently approved by the CDHB (copies of our WSPs are available on request).
- Our Water Supply Bylaw 2008 applies to water supplies under the care, control and management of, or water provided by, the Selwyn District Council, except for water supplies subject to the Selwyn District Council Water Race Bylaw.
- Treatment methods used in various supplies include secure ground water, Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, selective abstraction and filtration, while chlorination is currently used on seven suppliers.
- Chlorine is used as a preventative measure against contamination. Note that over 80% of the country is being supplied with chlorinated water.
- UV (ultra violet light) disinfection treats the water where it enters our supply network. It is very effective as long as the water is not turbid (discoloured). UV treatment does not treat the water once it is in our reservoirs and pipes.
- There is always the potential for contaminants to get into the water reticulation system, for example through cracks in the reservoir, broken pipes – tree roots growing through pipes are a potential problem, as are unlawful connections from households where people have done their own plumbing.
Water Treatment / Barriers
Ultra Violet Light
|Malvern Hills Hartleys||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Malvern Hills Dalethorpe||✓||✓||✓|
|Selwyn Rural – Dry Acheron||✓||✓|
|Selwyn Rural - Glentunnel||✓||✓|
|Sheffield / Waddington||✓||✓||✓|
|Upper Selwyn Huts|
Send your enquiries to our services using the customer enquiry form
How you can help
Get your backflow protection tested
- Our backflow prevention policy sets out the backflow prevention requirements for new and existing properties in the district.
- Backflow prevention device installed at high, and medium hazard properties must be tested annually by an approved backflow Technician or Independently Qualified Person (IQP) at the property owners' expense.
- All privately managed backflow devices within the boundary should be included in the property’s compliance schedule and be maintained fully functional.
Flush your taps
- Traces of metals – in particular lead – are of concern because over time they pose a potential health risk, especially if consumed from childhood. The whole phenomenon is technically known as ‘Plumbosolvency’.
- The Ministry of Health therefore recommends that people do not drink the first mugful of water if their tap has not been used for several hours overnight, or after long absence from your property. Instead, people should run the tap for a second or so, which will quickly flush-away any water that has become contaminated with lead or any other metals from the plumbing fittings.
- Additional details on this issue can be sourced from the Ministry of Health website – www.moh.govt.nz or the Plumbosolvency Q & A Sheet [PDF, 34 KB]
Disinfect your water storage tank
- If you have own potable water Storage tanks in your property, it needs to be disinfected and maintained on a regular basis.
- View some guidelines and instructions on how to Disinfect Water Storage Tanks [PDF, 33 KB]
Risk Assessment of our water supplies
- Following consultation on the 2018-2028 Long-Term Plan, the Council voted to develop a risk-based assessment for determining which of Selwyn’s 30 water supplies should be chlorinated. We engaged BECA consultants to develop the assessment, and representatives from the Council, Sicon (the water supply operators), Food and Health Standards (Environmental Health Officer) and Drinking Water Assessor (Community & Public Health) also contributed.
- The assessment looked at the source, treatment, reticulation and end users of each scheme, and considered a number of factors such as well depth, treatment, turbidity, risk of flooding, stock exclusion, population including vulnerable populations, growth in number of connections, condition of pipes, and water pressure. Each water supply has been ranked from Priority 1 (highest risk) to Priority 5 (lowest risk). Chlorination has been recommended for supplies ranked Priority 1, along with some Priority 2.Read the full report on Risk assessment of water supplies [PDF, 2555 KB]