Private water supplies – taking water from a private bore

In March 2021 we held a joint public meeting with Queenstown Lakes District Council and Southern District Health Board to cover all aspects of groundwater quality and bore security - and recorded it so people who could not make the meeting could watch it in their own time.
If you take water from or have a private supply, please take the time to watch this video.


Protecting your borehead from groundwater contamination

Although groundwater can provide a good source of water supply, poor bore security can serve as a pathway for contamination into our precious aquifers (e.g. when contaminants enter through the bore casing or cap), which impose a significant risk to water quality and human health.

It is therefore very important that boreheads are properly secured and the area around them is kept clean and tidy (e.g. concrete apron, ensuring the bore casing is in good condition, elevating the borehead above ground level, installing backflow preventers to avoid siphoning of contaminants into the bore, and excluding stock from the borehead). These measures are designed to prevent water and contaminants from entering the aquifer via the bore.

For more information please read the following resources:


Test your water regularly


Who is responsible?

  • Regional councils for the management of source catchments (under the Resource Management Act)
  • Water suppliers for the water supply from the point of abstraction to the property (under the Health Act)
  • Self-suppliers are covered by the Building Act 2004, which requires any building intended for use as a dwelling house to have an adequate and convenient supply of water that is potable. Self-suppliers have to ensure themselves that their water is safe.


Advice around particular contaminants, individual water supply wells and groundwater quality is available from:

Health Protection Officers  
Public Health South - Dunedin

Private Bag 1921, Dunedin 9054
Ph: 03 476 9800

Public Health South - Queenstown

PO Box 2180, Frankton, Queenstown 9349
Ph: 03 450 9154

Environmental Health Officer  
Dunedin City Council Ph: 03 477 4000
Queenstown Lake District Council Ph: 03 441 0499
Central Otago District Council - Alexandra

Ph: 03 440 0056

Waitaki District Council - Oamaru Ph: 03 433 0300 or 0800 108 081
Clutha District Council - Balclutha Ph: 03 419 0200 or 0800 801 350
Groundwater Scientists  
Otago Regional Council
Freephone: 0800 474 082


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