Risk management plans for drinking water providers

Risk management plans (RMPs) are an essential feature for assuring drinking water quality.

All new providers must have a RMP in place prior to commencing supply.

Standard RMPs have been prepared by SA Health which can be adopted for use by various small drinking water providers. Larger, more complex drinking water providers will need to develop their own Custom RMP.

Standard RMPs

Guidance manuals have been prepared for each of the Standard RMP templates. These Guidance manuals contains all relevant information and step-by-step instructions to assist drinking water providers to prepare a RMP using the Standard template. Use the relevant Guidance Manual in conjunction with the Template document. These documents are available for use by small water supplies in the following settings:

Small rainwater supplies

Rainwater supplies in regulated premises

Small bore-water supplies

Dual source water supplies – rainwater and bore water

Water Carting (mains water)

Custom RMPs

More complex water supplies including the following will need to develop a custom RMP:

  • medium drinking water providers - greater than 2,000 population
  • large drinking water providers - greater than 50,000 population
  • surface water suppliers

Preparing a Custom RMP

Section 13 of the Safe Drinking Water Act 2011 lists what is required to be included in your RMP. Ensure your RMP:

  • contains a detailed description of the drinking water supply
  • identifies the risks to the quality of the water, assesses risks and sets out steps to manage the risks
  • includes a monitoring program covering both operational monitoring and water quality monitoring
  • includes an Incident Identification and Notification protocol

Assistance and guidance when creating a custom RMP

If you are preparing a Custom RMP there a number of resources available to assist you to ensure that you meet the requirements under the Act. These include:

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines provides a framework for management of drinking water quality, provides a reference for what defines safe, good quality water, how it can be achieved and how it can be assured.

SA Health documentation

The Guidance manuals for Standard RMPs (above) developed by SA Health provide the type of information to be included in your custom RMP. Additional information is also available in Submitting Monitoring Plans and Incident Notification Protocols for approval (PDF 356KB).

Submit your Custom RMP for review and approval to SA Health’s Water Quality Unit via email (waterquality@sa.gov.au). Once your Custom RMP is approved you will be sent a registration form to complete your application.

Submission of a custom RMP to SA Health for approval

Submit your prepared RMP to SA Health’s Water Quality using the Registration with adoption of a custom risk management plan form (DOC 367KB). Refer to Submitting Monitoring Plans and Incident Notification Protocols for approval (PDF 356KB) for further guidance on what to include in your RMP.

Further information

For further information relating to risk management plans, contact SA Health's Water Quality Unit on: