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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Home & land contamination

Whakakinotia te kāinga me te whenua

Land contamination

For most people living on land that may have been contaminated, there will not be any effects on their health. But it's important to think about if you have young children or are pregnant.

Environment Canterbury has identified land that may be contaminated due to a history of hazardous activities and industries including:

If your land is identified in the Environment Canterbury listed land use register, it's possible that chemicals or hazardous substances may still be present in the soil. Environment Canterbury will notify land owners by mail and provide you with information if your land may be affected.

For more information see:

Water contamination

If you get your water from a piped water supply, it's tested regularly to meet the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand.

If you have a bore or well on your property for drinking water or irrigation, you should have it tested four times a year for bacteria and once a year for nitrate. You can check the risk of nitrate levels in drinking water in your area on the Community & Public Health website (see the right-hand column).

High nitrate levels can be a health risk for babies under six months old who are bottle fed and the unborn babies of pregnant women.

Several laboratories can test for nitrate levels. Contact the lab before you collect your water sample. It will provide special sampling containers and recommendations. It's a good idea to test for E.coli contamination at the same time. This leaflet from Community & Public Health has information about laboratories that can test for nitrate levels and E.coli contamination.

For more information see Nitrate in drinking water: "Blue baby" syndrome.

Methamphetamine contamination

Your home can become contaminated with methamphetamine if the drug is made or smoked inside it.

Making or manufacturing methamphetamine usually results in much higher contamination than smoking. Testing for contamination is recommended where there has been suspected drug manufacturing in the house.

Health concerns are mainly related to third-hand exposure to the toxic chemicals used to make methamphetamine.

More information is available on Practical advice for homeowners and landlords on meth testing.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2021.

Page reference: 102992

Review key: HILAC-102992