Yes, you can drink tap water in New Zealand. This is because the tap water in NZ is drinkable, and the water is safe for human consumption. You can even use it for other purposes, like cleaning dishes, cooking, and doing laundry.
The water in New Zealand undergoes a thorough filtration process to be safe for people to drink. The government of New Zealand is working hard to deliver a safe water supply to its people. It employs ungraded water treatment plants to get the best water quality. Moreover, the water distribution systems are of world-class standards.
The government puts a premium on improving the quality and reliability of water in NZ. The water from dams, rivers, and other sources would go through a cleaning process. It ensures that the raw water will be free from contaminants and microorganisms.
The water has the standards of the Ministry of Health’s Drinking Water Standards. The same Ministry approved meaning the treatment plants and processes. Also, The water in the country is consistently being monitored and tested for quality.
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Where does NZ get their water?
New Zealand gets its water from different sources. Two-thirds of the water drinking supply in NZ is generally from surface water. Meaning the supply is coming from rivers and lakes. The third portion is from groundwater, while 5% of the supply is coming from reservoirs.
The water supply in New Zealand undergoes a thorough process.
The water will come from the source, then be treated prior to its eventual distribution. This is how water is being distributed in New Zealand:
- Water Source
- Treatment plant
The government will get the source from groundwater, rivers, or lakes. It will be pumped from the ground to get more enormous supplies for the people. The water from the source is raw and needs to be treated.
The simplest and easiest way to get water supply in New Zealand is by piping it from a river or lake. Then, using a pump and storage tank, the water will go all the way up from the source.
Then, the water collected will go straight to the treatment plant. The treatment plant ensures that any contaminants present in the water are removed. In this way, the water will be safe to deliver for drinking.
As part of the treatment process, the water will also undergo chlorination. A chemical compound is deposited into the water to kill bacteria and microorganisms. Then, to make the water safer, it will go through more thorough cleaning procedures. It includes coagulation, filtration, and removal of cloudiness.
The treatment plant is crucial as it is the one supplying the water to the communities. The plant employed highly technical operations to make sure the water is clean. Some plants have extensive automated control to ensure the best quality of water.
After the treatment process, the water will now be distributed to consumers. In this part, a network of pipes or the distribution system will receive the water initially. These pipes have direct connections to the communities where people get local supplies.
The distribution zones are receiving the pipes connected to the plant. The zones are where a town or local community gets the water for the residents.
The water is already distributed by the plant, received by the zone; the end is the community. Therefore, the people from the community can now get a clean water supply.
The filtered supply of water can now be consumed by households in different ways. They can use it for drinking and cleaning purposes. Residents rely on the supply from the treatment plants in their day-to-day activities.
What chemicals are in NZ tap water?
The Ministry of Health’s Drinking Water Standards in NZ ensures the water is of the best quality. The water supply should meet the necessary chemical standards set by the Ministry. Meaning no harmful chemicals occur in the water.
The most common chemical you can find in NZ’s tap water includes chlorine and fluoride. The water also has manganese and nitrate compounds.
These chemicals are relatively safe as they are naturally present in groundwaters. They are also helpful in killing disease-causing bacteria found in water.
Chlorine is originally added to the water supply during the treatment process. The substance can kill any harmful bacteria that can contaminate the water. In addition, chlorine is easy to evaporate and has been proven safe to use in water around the globe. However, the use of chlorine should be moderate. It can make the water blurry once it exceeds its standard amount.
Fluoride, however, is intentionally added to the supply. It helps prevent tooth decay and a health measure set by the government. They believe that water fluoridation can significantly improve the oral health of locals. Fluoride in water can prevent tooth decay. It even slows down the process of damaging the tooth.
However, fluoridation should be applied moderately. The Ministry only recommends a fluoride concentration of 0.7–1.0 parts per million. It is also based on the guidelines set by the World Health Organization.
Another substance added to the water is lime. Limewater is used during the process of lime softening. The substance will be able to reduce water hardness making the supply safer. It also serves as a neutralizing agent in the water treatment process. Lime can also protect the water pipes from eventual corrosion.
Manganese occurs naturally in groundwater. Using a small amount of this substance is helpful in human health. However, there is a standard to follow when including manganese in drinking water. A level of manganese above the recommended amount can significantly harm one’s health. Therefore, it is better to follow the guidelines when using manganese in drinking water.
Nitrate is also a substance found in New Zealand water. The same with manganese, nitrate can occur naturally in the groundwater. The presence of nitrate in water does not usually cause health problems. However, a high level of this substance can negatively impact your health. It is not suitable for children and pregnant women.
How much water does New Zealand use?
Water is the most basic need of any human being. New Zealand uses water for daily needs. In New Zealand, an average person consumes around 227 liters of water daily. The amount is used for drinking, cooking, doing chores, and other activity.
The household use in New Zealand is higher in proportion compared to industrial. It is also higher when you compared to agricultural use. Household use makes up almost 22% of the country’s total water consumption. The figure is more significant than the world average of only 10%.
Here is a breakdown of how Kiwis consume their water:
- Toilet – 86 liters per day
- Bathing and hygiene – 68 liters per day
- Washing clothes or laundry – 36 liter per day
- Cooking and kitchen needs – 32 liters per day
- House chores – 5 liters per day
Based on the data, Kiwis consume more water in the bathroom than in any other home area. Almost 70% of water is being used for bathroom purposes. While only 20% for kitchen and laundry.
An estimate of $850 is being allotted to pay for water in New Zealand every year. However, the amount varies depending on the location or area one is using water. Some residents pay three times more for water while others barely spend much. Some households will pay less than a thousand dollars, while others only pay around $200.
For wastewater, records showed that people could consume as much as $1,200 for water, while others pay $116. There is a massive gap in how people in New Zealand consume water. Some almost allot more than 10% of their income to pay for the water bill.
Is bottled water better than tap water in New Zealand?
Yes, bottled water is always better than tap water in New Zealand. Bottled ones underwent a more strict process to ensure their cleanliness and quality. You can get bottled water in New Zealand for $5.32 per liter.
There is a huge difference given that you can get tap water for free in the country. So, what makes bottled water more expensive in New Zealand?
- Fluoride content
- pH level
- Monitoring bodies
Since bottled water underwent more processes, the fluoride content is lesser. Most bottled water in the country came from spring water which only has 0.6 to 1mg fluoride content per liter.
Chloride, of course, is different from chlorine. Chloride is naturally in water, where the level varies depending on the source. For example, bottled water has lower levels of chloride than tap water.
Another difference between the tap water from bottled water is the pH levels. Usually, bottled waters have seven and higher pH levels. The pH level determines how acidic the water can be. A lower level means the water is more acidic.
The Australi NZ Food Standards Code regulates bottled water in New Zealand. The product should also comply with the Australian Bottled Water Institute’s Code. These two bodies have set standards for the processing of safe and clean water.
On the other side, drinking water is being monitored by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry regularly monitors the water supply for bacteria, contaminants, and protozoa.
Where is the clearest water in New Zealand?
The clearest water in New Zealand is found at the top of the country’s South Island. The Nelson Blue Lake is not only regarded as the clearest water in NZ but in the world, as well. The water in Nelson Blue Lake is usually described as optically clear.
The visibility in the Blue Lake can reach 80 meters or 262 feet. Since it is the most transparent water globally, it already surpassed the Pupu Springs in Golden Bay. The visibility in Pupu only reaches 206ft.
Based on the photographs of the water, the Blue lake exhibits blue-violet hues. Meaning the water displayed an uncomparable level of clearness. The Blue Lake is generally fed by the water coming from Lake Constance. Due to its transparency, the lake is now considered a sacred site.
New Zealand is an island country found in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. The country is incomparably stunning, with plenty of bodies of water. It has been a favorite destination among travelers. Yet, there is much to learn about this fascinating country – like the quality of its waters.
With water sources like rivers, lakes, lagoons – New Zealand’s water supply is abundant. But this does not make NZ complacent, as they are committed to providing quality water. The level of monitoring and treatment process for raw water is quite impressive. It means that drinking water is closely monitored to ensure safety and cleanliness.