Healthy living

Drinking water in Western Australia

Who supplies drinking water in Western Australia?

Almost all Western Australians receive drinking water supplies from licensed and regulated public drinking water supply systems (known as scheme suppliers).

As a result, Western Australia has one of the lowest instances of water-borne diseases in the world.

Beyond the scheme suppliers, a number of other smaller suppliers provide drinking water to the public in parts of regional Western Australia.

These include:

  • the Department of Communities (Housing Authority), which provides drinking water to 79 remote Aboriginal communities through the Remote Essential & Municipal Services Program (REMS)
  • local government – drinking water suppliers to some small communities, regional airports and community facilities.
  • mine sites and exploration camps
  • private small system operators supplying to the public (for example roadhouses, caravan parks, tourism resorts, remote schools, school camps)
  • drinking water carters.

Information about the Western Australia water services regulatory framework is available from the Department of Water’s water services website (external site).

Information about Water service licensing and licence exemptions is available from the Department of Water’s licensing exemptions website (external site).

A complete list of licensed water suppliers in Western Australia, including contact details, is maintained by the Economic Regulation Authority of Western Australia (external site).

How is the quality of drinking water regulated in Western Australia?

The Department of Health regulates the quality of drinking water in Western Australia in accordance with guidance set out in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (external site).

These guidelines are published by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia’s peak public health policy organisation, and are designed to provide an authoritative reference on what defines safe, good quality water, how it can be achieved and how it can be assured.

Scheme suppliers and most other drinking water service providers in Western Australia must manage and monitor their systems and report the results to the Department of Health in accordance with agreed protocols pursuant to Memoranda of Understanding between the Department of Health and each drinking water licensee for drinking water.

In most cases scheme suppliers must publish on their web site information about the quality of drinking water supplied (including annual water quality reports) and provide relevant customer service information to customers.

Private small system operators supplying drinking water to the public are also monitored by the Department of Health through a network of local government health authorities.

Who monitors water quality standards in Western Australia?

The Advisory Committee for the Purity of Water (external link) has been monitoring the quality of drinking water in Western Australia since 1925.

This committee also recommends improvements in monitoring and management protocols to the Ministers responsible for Health and Water Resources.

What advice is available for private water supplies?

If you live on a private property that is not connected to a reticulated drinking water supply scheme you will need to manage your own drinking water system.

Good advice can be found at the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Community Water Planner (external site). This is a tool designed to assist small communities to develop drinking water management plans.

Further advice can be found on the Department of Health drinking water website (external site).

Specific information for mine sites and exploration camps that provide drinking water on site can be found at the Department’s mine sites and exploration camps web site (external site).

How can I find out about the quality of drinking water supplied to my property?

Detailed information about the quality of drinking water supplied by scheme suppliers is available from the licensed scheme water suppliers.

The main scheme water suppliers in Western Australia are:

If you have problems with the quality of drinking water that you receive then it is best to report it to your scheme water supplier or, in the case of a private water supply, your local government environmental health officer in the first instance.

Published versions of the Memoranda of Understanding between the Department of Health and each drinking water licensee for Drinking Water are available from the licensee’s website, at:

Information about the quality of drinking water provided at the community of Windy Harbour is available from the Shire of Manjimup website (external site).

More information

Contact Environmental Health Services at your local government (external site).

Regulated water supply, sanitary and drainage plumbing is required to be carried out and certified by or under the direction and control of a Licensed Plumbing Contractor.

Check to see if your plumber is licensed on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website (external site).


Last reviewed: 29-07-2020
Acknowledgements
Public Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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