Achieving compliance with the Health Act 1956 and the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ)
As a networked drinking-water supplier you are legally required to demonstrate that you are providing safe drinking-water to your customers.
Recent changes to the Health Act 1956 (during 2019) require water suppliers to ensure that all drinking-water supplied to consumers fully complies with the DWSNZ (Section 69V of the Act). This legislative change, coupled with national proposals to establish a dedicated ‘drinking-water regulator’ to increase regulatory compliance across the drinking-water sector, means water suppliers may need to review the way they are providing safe drinking-water and therefore demonstrating compliance with the DWSNZ (and Health Act 1956 generally).
At Wai Comply we have the relevant expertise and experience to aid water suppliers in navigating complex compliance requirements and ensure water suppliers are implementing safe drinking-water practices which meet compliance requirements.
The following services summarised below are areas where Wai Comply can assist you as a water supplier.
Compliance Strategies and Reporting Requirements
Compliance Strategies - Wai Comply can support water suppliers to better understand the DWSNZ through undertaking a comprehensive review of existing compliance approaches across any number of water treatment plants or distribution zones. Given our in-depth knowledge of the DWSNZ we can review existing compliance approaches and determine whether the most robust and appropriate compliance option is being utilised. Our specifically formulated compliance strategies aim to combine all such compliance requirements for all of a water suppliers respective supplies into one succinct document. It is important that across all key DWSNZ and legislative requirements for water suppliers there is ‘consistency of approach’ ensuring that DWSNZ compliance and a WSP (Component 5 of the WSP Framework) are in alignment.
Compliance Monitoring Programmes and Reporting - Water suppliers must provide records (data) to Drinking Water Assessors to demonstrate compliance with the DWSNZ. Such records can contain any number of compliance records, from quarterly bacteriological samples (E.coli) to reporting continuous data every minute of the day (24/7). At Wai Comply we are proficient in a range of compliance monitoring and reporting software packages. On behalf of a water supplier we can review and maintain compliance reporting systems in alignment with a WSP (Component 8 of the WSP Framework) ensuring all records are submitted to the Drinking Water Assessor or required individuals within a water suppliers governance structure in a comprehensive manner.
Responding to Drinking-water events
Responding to drinking-water events (such as transgressions) can be very complex and very demanding of water suppliers and Drinking Water Assessors to respond to. It is of outmost importance that to protect consumers from such events a water supplier needs to ensure that it is adequately prepared to respond to emergency events - “when responding to water supply events time is of the essence”. At Wai Comply we have experience in responding to a number of water supply emergencies (Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, and Havelock North waterborne outbreak) and are proficient in New Zealand based emergency management systems (such as CIMs) which means we are well placed to support water suppliers during these tough times.
At Wai Comply we can assist water suppliers develop communications plans, remedial response plans, undertake emergency response exercises, and develop final reports all which contribute to water suppliers ensuring safe drinking-water is supplied whilst demonstrating adherence with the DWSNZ. It is very important that when undertaking any work in preparation of developing water supply emergency response plans (or contingency response plans) that there is alignment with WSP planning and development (Component 7 of the WSP Framework).
Determining Log-credit requirements and Catchment Sanitary Risk Assessments
Catchment Sanitary Risk Assessments - Undertaking a catchment sanitary risk assessment (CSRA) is a process required by the DWSNZ but demonstrated through the WSP (in alignment with Component 2 of the WSP Framework). Water suppliers should be periodically undertaking reviews of their water supply catchments and determining what sources of contamination (chemical, microbiological and radiological) may exist in the catchment. This process directly aids in determining the risk to the water supply (and abatement through adopting a multi-barrier approach to treatment), and establishing the log-credit compliance requirement for a supply. At Wai Comply we can develop CSRAs for water suppliers in alignment with existing (or developing) WSPs.
Quality Assurance and Auditing
As a drinking-water supplier having an effective and efficient quality assurance (administration) system is an essential tool of achieving compliance with the DWSNZ whilst also being a WSP requirement as detailed in “Component(s) 8 and 10 of the WSP Framework”. At Wai Comply, we have 10+ years of combined experience working as auditors under ‘Inspection Body (17020)’ accreditation systems. Given our vast experience at Wai Comply we feel we can aid our clients in designing and implementing robust quality assurance practices through the development of; guidelines, protocols, standard operating procedures, and manuals. With our unique 'approach to achieving compliance' we can contribute to instilling any number of quality assurance requirements with confidence.
"Gisborne District Council have recently engaged Wai Comply to be involved on a long-term basis in the upkeep and internal auditing of our Water Supply Quality Management System. Wai Comply have a structured “can do” approach and their high degree of professionalism and competence makes them a trusted advisor to us.”