The Ministry of Health recommends that you flush a large glass of water from your drinking water tap each morning before you use any water. This helps to remove any metals that may have dissolved from your plumbing fittings.
New Zealand’s water can be slightly acidic. Acidic water can dissolve metals, and this is known as plumbosolvent water. If water stays for several hours in our household pipes, it can dissolve heavy metals in the pipes such as lead or copper. Small amounts of these metals may then enter your water supply.
The Ministry of Health recommends flushing a tap as a simple precaution for all households, including those on public and private water supplies. The health risk from your drinking water is small, but a build-up of heavy metals in your body may cause health problems.
Plumbosolvency is not about the quality of your drinking water but about whether the water has prolonged contact with metals. We continue to meet the requirements of the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand 2005 (revised 2018) and deliver safe water that you can enjoy from your taps each day. You can read more about water supply on our website.