Protecting your private drinking water source

If you have a private drinking water source, you need to have your private drinking water well tested to ensure water is safe to drink.

During November 2019, Ashburton addresses that do not have a town water supply, received a joint letter from Environment Canterbury, Ashburton District Council and the Canterbury District Health Board.

As the letter states, groundwater in several parts of the region has regularly tested above the Maximum Acceptable Value (MAV) for nitrate, and in some cases for E. coli.

Read the full letter (PDF File, 176.2KB)

Private water well

What you need to know to protect your drinking water

Protecting your private drinking water source

Testing private wells is the owner’s responsibility. It should be undertaken at least four times per year for E. coli, as well as annually for nitrate.

We’ve also produced a brochure with practical information about how to protect your well head (PDF File, 1.06MB).

Canterbury’s drinking water

Canterbury has some of the best drinking water in the world, but no water supply is completely without risk. Find out who helps ensure our water is safe to drink?

You can find detailed information on New Zealand drinking water standards on the Ministry of Health website.

Nitrate in our waterways

We’ve also published a detailed look into nitrate in our waterways, what it means and how it can affect you. Find out more about nitrate in waterways.

Our Nitrate Risk Map for the Ashburton Region highlights the areas where nitrate concentrations in groundwater are highest.

Our most recent annual groundwater survey showed little change, confirming that a few private wells are sometimes below drinking water standard. Read the Annual groundwater quality survey.

Check your historical data

Finally, the Listed Land Use Register is a publicly available database where you can check the historical use of land to understand contamination risks.