Private water testing

​​Water test sample selection

The Council offers a private water testing service for those who are concerned about the water quality of their privately owned drinking water supply. 

Common private supplies often consist of roof water, bore water, or stream water that is held in a water tank. Most of the time this water is unchlorinated and is therefore susceptible to contamination from various sources which can lead to the water becoming unsafe to drink. Common causes of contamination can range from bird droppings, water being in contact with animals such as rodents, or contaminated groundwater (such as agricultural runoff) seeping into bores. This allows protozoal and bacteria (such as Giardia and E. coli) that are harmful to our health to populate the water and cause illness. If you notice the water smells, tastes, or appears unclean, you may need a water sample to be taken and tested for harmful protozoal or bacteria. 

A water test can take 10 to 30 minutes depending on the source, and involves the water monitoring officer (most commonly) taking a 100 mL sample of water from either a faucet in the house, well, or water tank. The sample is then sent down to the laboratory for testing, and results are acquired as soon as possible. The cost of a water test is determined by how far away you live from the nearest test site, time taken to test, laboratory costs, and admin. We have 50 different test sites, ranging from Ohau Ski Lodge, Pukeuri, Palmerston, and everywhere in between. Water tests often cost $50 - $100 and are quoted beforehand based on estimated time and distance needed for the test.

If you are concerned about the quality of water on your property, please contact Kate Grant​, Water Monitoring Officer, on 03 433 0300 or email​  to consult and arrange the appropriate test if required. Please leave your name, email, contact phone number, and address you would like tested when booking a test. 

The Ministry of Health offers advice for maintaining safe drinking water and disinfecting contaminated water from water tanks in the document linked below.

Page reviewed: 17 Nov 2020 10:16am