Niue Government to regulate against contamination of ground water system

The government is about to bring into force the Water wellhead protection regulations this year under the Water Act 2012. 

The wellhead protection regulations will impose zoning areas around the water bores with restrictions on certain activities that may or can cause contamination to the ground water. 

The first zone or Zone 1 is an area within a distance of 50 meters radius from the center of the borehole. Zone 2 is an area within a distance of 100 meters from the borehole and Zone 3 is an area within a 150 meters from the center of the borehole. 

The regulations prescribes a list of 24 restrictions on activities or ventures from within zone 1 or 50 meters radius from the borehole. These activities include burial of human remains and any burial or disposal of animal carcasses. Extractive, mining or extractive industries, commercial livestock, hospitals, fuel or service, piggeries, tourism operations of more than 10 beds etc..

For zone 2 & 3 within 100 and 150 meters from the bore head, there are 9 restricted activities. For example swimming pools, chemical storage facilities, commercial livestock activities including piggeries, tourism operations more than 10 beds, chemical storage facilities and sewage treatment, premises storing commercial quantities of agricultural chemicals or pesticides cannot be built or located within 100 and 150 meters from the water head bore. 

The Ministry of Infrastructure’s Director General Andre Siohane says they will be holding a public consultation next week which will include landowners for these water-head bores located around the island.

After the consultations and cabinet approval the regulations is likely to come into force end of this year or early next year.

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