WELLINGTON, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government is making changes to Drinking Water Standards which will help keep New Zealanders safe from waterborne illness, a minister said on Tuesday.
"The bottom line is public safety. People expect when they turn on the tap, the water they are drinking is safe, and that is a reasonable expectation which should be met," said Health Minister David Clark.
Clark said many of the changes, which will take effect on March 1, 2019, are clarifications or corrections, adding there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria.
The water suppliers will be required to routinely monitor the total amount of coliform bacteria in water while the testing for E.Coli, bacteria causing food poisoning symptoms such as abdominal cramps and diarrhea, would be intensified, according to the minister.
There will be a consultation on changes affecting testing for E.coli and other coliform bacteria, which will include talking to testing laboratories which do not provide this form of testing at the moment and may be affected by these changes, he said.