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Ministry of Health Reports

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ESR provides the Ministry of Health with scientific advice and expertise on the management of drinking water, groundwater, recreational water and wastewater. Find some of our reports on water quality below. Please note, this page does not reflect all work ESR has completed for the Ministry of Health. 

2007: The influencence of rain events on the transmission of Campylobacter through water supplies [PDF, 710 KB]

This report was created for the Ministry of Health as an extension of the survey of Campylobacter in treated drinking waters undertaken in 2003-2004.

2008: Review of the Public Health Grading Framework for water supplies: adequacy of the existing framework [PDF, 664 KB] 

This report was undertaken for the Ministry of Health to consider how PHRMPs might be introduced into the public health grading framework

2009: Revision of the Priority 2 Chemical Determinands Identification Programme [PDF, 580 KB]

This report was undertaken for the Ministry of Health to propose a sustainable and systematic protocol for updating the Priority 2 Chemical Determinands Identification Programme. 

2009: Environmental Microbiological Risk Assessment and Management (EMRAM) Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins Review [PDF, 501 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to continue cyanobacteria/cyanotoxin reporting from 2009-2010 as part of the Water National Reporting Service Description. 

2009: Review of the Public Health Grading Framework for water supplies: incorporation of PHRMP information [PDF, 1.1 MB] 

This report was undertaken for the Ministry of Health to examine the extent to which the present water grading framework is achieving its purpose. 

2009: Drinking-water Assistance Programme: A Snapshot of Acceptability of Process and Impact from CAP Applicants Perspectives [PDF, 860 KB]

This evaluation undertaken for the Ministry of Health to provide a nationwide snapshot of the acceptability of Drinking-water Assistance Programme processes, from the perspective of drinking-water suppliers who have applied for funds from the Capital Assistance Programme (CAP). 

2009: Climate Change, Water Supplies and Health: A resource for health professionals, planners and small water suppliers [PDF, 1.3 MB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to provide a framework for linking the potential impacts of New Zealand-specific climate change scenarios on water supplies and health.  

2010: Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins 2009–2010 Review [PDF, 735 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to improve our understanding of the hazard to public health presented by cyanobacteria in drinking and recreational waters. 

2011: Review of the Quality of Drinking Water Data Held in WINZ [PDF, 985 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to review the accuracy, currency and completeness of Water Information New Zealand data. 

2011: Towards the Next Generation Drinking Water-Strategy  [PDF, 1 MB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to provide guidance on the development of its next drinking-water strategy. 

2012: Summary of Literature: Impacts of Earthquakes on Groundwater Quality [PDF, 897 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to search for and summarise scientific literature on the impact of earthquakes on groundwater quaility. 

2012: Priority 2: Determinand Identification Guide [PDF, 459 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to provide drinking-water suppliers with information to guide them through the identification of a water supply’s Priority 2 determinands using a qualitative assessment of the likelihood of them being present in the water supply.

2012: Revised Environmental Microbiological Risk Assessment and Management (EMRAM) Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins Review  [PDF, 501 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to revise the 2009 Environmental Microbiological Risk Assessment and Management EMRAM Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins Review. 

2013: The Consequences of Demographic Change for New Zealand Water Supplies  [PDF, 734 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to examine in detail how demographic changes in New Zealand may affect water supplies and what consequences for public health these changes may have.

2014: Public health risk assessment of sewage disposal by onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems in the Darfield and Kirwee Communities [PDF, 795 KB]

This report was undertaken to provide the Ministry of Health with information to better understand the public health risk associated with the onsite treatment and disposal of sewage in Selwyn. 

2014: The Potential Hazard On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems in Darfield and Kirwee Present to Local Groundwater Quality and Critique of Current Assessment Methods [PDF, 5.6 MB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to review the hydrogeological setting in the Darfield-Kirwee area, assess the vulnerability of the aquifer underlying the central Canterbury Plains to water quality impacts from the septic tank clusters, and analyse the functionality of Selwyn District Council’s (SDC’s) groundwater quality monitoring well network.

2014: The management of water shortage by water safety plans [PDF, 1010 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to assess the extent to which water safety plans manage the risk of water shortage.

2014: Cadmium in Groundwater: review of regional council data [PDF, 399 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to provide an understanding of whether cadmium in groundwater presents a risk to public health.

2014: Water Safety Plan Update: Project scoping plan [PDF, 298 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to review existing water safety plan documents and identify the updates needed. 

2015: Non-achievement of the Drinking water Standards for New Zealand [PDF, 1.2 MB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to gain a better understanding of the reasons for nonachievement of the E. coli (Escherichia coli) and chemical requirements of the Standards.

2015: Priority 2 and Priority 3 Chemical Determinands Identification Guide [PDF, 1 MB] [PDF, 1 MB]

This guide was prepared for the Ministry of Health to provide tools to help water suppliers and DWAs in the identification of Priority 2 and Priority 3 determinands (except cyanotoxins) using a qualitative assessment of the likelihood of them being present in the water supply. 

2015: Non-achievement of the Drinkingwater Standards for New Zealand [PDF, 1.1 MB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to gain a better understanding of the reasons for nonachievement of the E. coli (Escherichia coli) and chemical requirements of the Drinkingwater Standards. 

2016: Effective public health practice: Insights from Cardrona 2012 [PDF, 507 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to examine effective public health practice for managing environmental microbial risks at a local or regional level.

2017: Acute maximum acceptable values for chemical determinands of health significance [PDF, 632 KB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to present acute maximum acceptable values for the majority of the chemical determinands included in the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand 2005 (Revised 2008).

2018: Report on a survey of New Zealand drinking-water supplies for arsenic and nitrate [PDF, 2 MB]

The survey reported here was undertaken to provide the Ministry of Health with an update of information on arsenic and nitrate in New Zealand networked drinking water supplies because of changes in our understanding of risk factors leading to arsenic in water supplies, and land-use changes possibly influencing nitrate concentrations.

2018: Risks to public health from emerging organic contaminants in the New Zealand aquatic environment  [PDF, 1.2 MB]

This report was prepared for the Ministry of Health to consolidate New Zealand data on emerging organic contaminants in watsewater and the receiving environment, and assess the risks to public health of this. 

2018: Non-achievement of the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand: E. coli transgressions [PDF, 974 KB]

This report was undertaken for the Ministry of Health to review data from the annual survey of drinking water quality to see if there was evidence that maintaining a chlorine residual could overcome occasional E. coli transgressions, and evidence of the cause of these transgressions.