Drinking water sampling at customer properties
We collect more than 70 samples from our drinking water system each week. The samples are laboratory tested, so we can be sure our water is safe to drink.
The sampling points are located across our region, some of them are at our customers’ properties. A blue tag and unique number is attached at water meters that are used as sample locations (pictured below).
What does water sampling involve?
Drinking water sampling involves collecting water samples in specially prepared sample bottles for testing at an independent laboratory. Some tests are also completed by our staff at the time of collection.
How often will water be sampled from my water meter?
Each week’s sampling point selection is done by an independent laboratory to ensure the whole system is tested over a period of time. There may be long periods of time between samples in larger towns, or every four to six week in smaller towns.
Why has my property been chosen?
We have chosen properties across all water supply systems that are representative of the water supplied in that area and have suitable access.
Do I pay for the water used for sampling?
No. Water is collected before the meter and does not pass through the water meter.
Will there always be a sampling point at my water meter?
Sampling points change from time to time based on a number of things such as the water supply flows, accessibility to the sample point, changes in property numbers or density of houses. Some sampling points do not change for many years.
Do I need to be home when sampling happens?
No. Our staff access the water meter and sampling point when they need to for collection of samples or for maintenance.
Do I get a copy of the water testing results?
What happens with the information collected?
The sampling and testing information is stored in our water quality database and used for analysis of trends, exceedances and production of our annual water quality report. The specific details of each sample point is protected and not made public. No personal information is connected to the testing results.
What happens if an issue is found?
If small variations in water quality are detected, our staff may return to the area to investigate further, flush water mains or complete other work.
If we have any concerns about the safety of drinking water, public notices are issued in accordance with the Department of Health requirements and the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003.
What are you testing for?
We test for:
- Bacteria, such as E. coli
- Chemical contaminants such as heavy metals
- Colour and clarity (turbidity)
- Chlorine and fluoride levels
- Minerals and natural substances like iron and manganese
- Disinfection by-products
- Pesticides and other contaminants