Find free water testing near you here, check out our Know Your Nitrate Map, and read more about the risks that nitrate contamination of drinking water poses to human health.

Free nitrate contamination water testing events near you

Check back here to find out when we’ll be coming to a town near you!

Nitrate Testing Events in Canterbury:

19 April 2024
Darfield10am-4pmDarfield Baptist Church15 Greendale Road, Darfield
20 April 2024
Amuri Area School
School Road, Culverden
21 April 2024Rangiora9:30am-3pmRangiora War Memorial HallAlbert Street, Rangiora

Over the past three years, Greenpeace has held over a dozen free nitrate water testing community events, helping to inform people about the levels of nitrate in their drinking water. 

We are particularly interested in household bore water supplies, but we test all drinking water, including public supplies.

All you need to bring is a sample of your tap water, and we can test it for nitrate contamination while you wait. Run your kitchen tap for one minute and fill a clean container with 200 mls of water.

Don’t see your town? Request a free mail-in water test here.

Could you be at risk of nitrate-contaminated drinking water?

Check out our Know Your Nitrate map to find out the average level of nitrate contamination in drinking water near you. Those in rural areas, near dairy country, or on household bore supply are most likely to have high levels of nitrate in their drinking water.

Know Your Nitrate map

The Know Your Nitrate map is designed to inform and warn the public of the potential health risks of nitrate in drinking water. 

Find out more

No one should have to wonder if the water from their kitchen tap could be making them or their family sick. A growing body of scientific evidence has found links between nitrate contamination of water and a host of potential health impacts, from bowel cancer to premature births. New Zealand scientists warn that rural people are the most likely to be exposed to hazardous levels of nitrate. 

Time and again, people agree with the principle that access to safe drinking water is a basic human right.

Read more about nitrate contamination in drinking water.

Previous water testing events

Greenpeace has run water testing events across the country, with a particular focus on regions with high levels of dairy farming.

In 2021, Greenpeace began testing water for nitrate contamination. We launched our mail-in water testing and ran six nitrate water testing events in the following towns:

  1. Dunsandel – Saturday 29th May
  2. Woodend – Sunday 30th May
  3. Ashburton – Saturday 10th July
  4. Temuka – Sunday 11th July
  5. Winton – Saturday 17th July
  6. Riversdale – Sunday 18th July

Following the in-person water testing, we released our documentary, Cancer Water, about a community in Canterbury impacted by high levels of nitrate contamination in drinking water. We filmed this in 2021, and released it at the start of 2022.

In 2022, we expanded our water testing programme, running free water testing events in the North Island as well as continuing testing in the South Island.

  1. Cambridge (Hautapu) – Thursday 14th July
  2. Matamata – Friday 15th July
  3. Te Awamutu – Saturday 16th July
  4. ​​Glenavy – Wednesday 16th November
  5. Waimate – Thursday 17th November

We also held a well-attended community event in Glenavy after our testing took place to share more information on the risks of nitrate contamination and what residents could do. The Glenavy water testing results showed that the town had the highest levels of nitrate contamination in its drinking water that researchers had seen anywhere in the country. You can read more about this here.

In 2023, we returned to the Southland and Canterbury regions – home to some of New Zealand’s most intensive dairy farming – and ran three community water testing events.

  1. Lumsden – Tuesday 18th April
  2. Gore – Wednesday 19th April
  3. Ashburton – Saturday  22nd April

We found high levels of nitrate contamination across the board, but what was most concerning was that nitrate contamination in public drinking water in Lumsden and Gore was at a level that increased the risk of bowel cancer and preterm births. Bore water samples in these areas were extremely high, putting people and families who were drinking water from these bores at risk of bowel cancer, preterm birth, and blue baby syndrome.

VICE came to our water testing events in Gore and Ashburton, and produced a video which you can find here.

Our agriculture campaigner, Christine Rose, wrote a blog on her experiences running these water testing events and appeared on Breakfast TV to discuss the extremely high levels of nitrate contamination in drinking water that we found.

So far in 2024, Greenpeace has run three water testing events – two in Taranaki and one in Waikato.

  1. Hāwera
  2. New Plymouth
  3. Tokoroa