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 Housing, which provides drinking water to 91 remote Aboriginal communities through the Remote Area Essential Services Program (RAESP)
  • 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 and water carters).

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 monitor their systems and report the results to the Department of Health in accordance with agreed protocols.

In most cases scheme suppliers must publish on their web site information about the quality of drinking water supplied 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 (PDF 725KB) 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 at the Department’s drinking water web site (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.

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).

More information

Water Unit
Environmental Health Directorate
Department of Health WA
PO Box 8172
PERTH BUSINESS CENTRE WA 6849

Telephone: 9388 4999
Email: ehinfo@health.wa.gov.au

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.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page