Your Home - The Final Barrier

April 1, 2024
Your Home - The Final Barrier
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A key principle in helping ensure drinking water stays safe for you to consume is making use of a "multi-barrier approach" to reduce risks in your water supply.

The approach is the same as skydiving from an aeroplane with a backup parachute. If your main chute fails, you get a second chance. For town supplies, this approach starts at where the water is sourced from and is applied throughout the treatment process. The trouble with New Zealand's current situation, as identified in the Annual Report on Drinking Water Quality published by the Ministry of Health on 30 June 2020, is that over 970,000 people connected to registered drinking water supplies are receiving drinking water that does not comply with the requirements of Drinking Water Standards for NZ. There is a further 840,000 people drinking water of unknown quality, unless they are testing it themselves. This includes "self supplied" people drinking rain and bore water.

Despite the best efforts of a treatment system, the water still needs to get to your tap. Water quality is often assessed on its quality when "leaving the treatment plant", but what is the quality entering your home? Unfortunately there are some great treatment plants that deliver high quality water into an aged, poor quality distribution system where all that hard work is compromised. The below statement from one of New Zealand's largest suppliers highlights the challenges faced:

"Drinking water legislation must require the adoption of a multi-barrier approach to drinking water safety, and that all water to be used for drinking water purposes be treated appropriately to ensure that it is safe to drink. This should apply to the treating of drinking water supplies, and also require that water remains safe to be drink throughout the distribution system. Scientific literature shows that water deteriorates in quality after leaving the treatment plant, often because of the ingress of contaminated water into the water supply network.  The literature also shows that illness due to persons consuming water is now more often associated with the ingress of contaminated water into the network than with failure of treatment.  It is clear that more focus needs to be directed at the maintenance of underground assets and that a residual disinfectant in the water supply network is essential to help protect against the ingress of pathogens into the network after treatment."

Your Home - The Final Barrier

The good news is that you can easily purify and protect your own home with a Whole Home Purification system. This starts with the main water pipe coming into your home (a point of entry system) and can also include a system for a single drinking tap (a point of use system). The best thing about Whole Home Purification is that you get to choose how pure you're water is. Our Water Score system helps explain what options are available to you including the benefits of pure water.