Drinking water policy

The safety of Tasman residents’ drinking water is of paramount importance and are protected under a set of guiding principles adopted by the Council.

The Drinking Water Quality Management Policy is a direct response to the Havelock North gastroenteritis outbreak, which resulted from contamination of the town’s drinking water supply in August 2016.

Read the drinking water policy. (pdf, 451 KB)

Government guidance issued in 2019 following an investigation into the Havelock North contamination identified the need for Councils to put clear policy in place demonstrating commitment to six fundamental principles of drinking water safety.

The ‘source to tap’ approach means the Council will:

  • Embrace a high standard of care to manage water quality at all points along the delivery chain
  • Maintain an organisational sense of responsibility and dedication to providing consumers with safe drinking water
  • Monitor and manage land use activities upstream of abstraction points to ensure they do not impact on downstream drinking-water quality
  • Maintain robust multiple barriers against contamination appropriate to the level of potential contamination and harm
  • Ensure, where appropriate, source protection is enabled in the Tasman Resource Management Plan
  • Develop, maintain and review robust Water Safety Plans (WSPs) for each supply scheme

Other key elements of the policy include:

  • the approach for prioritising investment in water supply infrastructure, with drinking water safety to be at the heart of decision-making
  • ensuring strong lines of communication with other Councils, Nelson Marlborough Health, central Government, iwi, key stakeholders, the community, water supply contractors and regulators
  • a preventative approach to identify and manage risks to the drinking water supply.

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