Water measurement and backflow prevention


Some of the information on this page as well as linked documents may be out of date as a result of the Essential Freshwater Package introduced in September 2020.

Environment Canterbury is currently in the process of updating all relevant documentation. If you have any queries please contact Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Environment Canterbury is working closely with water consent holders and industry partners to achieve better management of the region’s water resources.

Installing a chemigation check valves

Installing a chemigation check valve can help you to protect Canterbury's waterways

You can't manage what you don’t measure. A water measuring system can save you time and money.

Water measurement

If you have a water take consent for five litres a second or more, national regulations require you to install a water measuring device** and provide annual water use information prior to 31 July each year. 

Environment Canterbury is asking for telemetered data to be submitted on a daily basis via a service provider. That way we can notify service providers if there are any issues.

If you haven’t got a water measuring system, you'll need to have one installed by an approved supplier. You can find a list of approved irrigation suppliers at Irrigation New Zealand.

 Read about water measuring (PDF file, 777.89KB) and installer checklistt (PDF file, 227.28KB).

You’ll also need to inform us of the timeline and progress of the installation by emailing us or phoning 0800 324 636 — and provide installation and verification certificates as soon as possible. Your service provider can do this on your behalf; however, it is still your responsibility to check it has occurred.

Your water measuring system must be verified by a qualified person. If water take consent holders fail to install a water measurement device and/or don’t supply the required information within a specified timeframe, compliance action will be taken. This will include a site visit at the cost of the consent holder, followed by enforcement action.

Read about national water take regulations.

Read about how often your measuring system should be verified (PDF file, 541.26KB).

** i.e level recorder/meter, datalogger and/or telemetered device

Backflow prevention

It is common for irrigators in New Zealand to apply effluent, fertiliser and agrichemicals to their land through their irrigation systems — a process known as chemigation or fertigation. This practice can put local water sources at risk of pollution or contamination from backflow.

We are endorsing the use of chemigation check valves as a cost effective and appropriate to way to ensure water sources are protected in Canterbury. Chemigation valves have been used to protect water supplies from agricultural chemicals for many years in the United States.

If you are installing a chemigation check valve in Canterbury, you must adhere to requirements based on the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Standard. Any breach or deviation from these requirements will be taken seriously and remedial action may be taken at a cost to the consent holder.

The use of chemigation valves is appropriate where the risk of water contamination is low; however, if the risk is high, a reduced pressure zone device must be installed. This is vital if the water source supplies potable water for community use, or is located close to a community water supply.