Safe drinking water legislation

Safe drinking water is a fundamental requirement for maintaining public health and supporting healthy communities. It is essential that there are mechanisms in place to ensure a consistent approach to the delivery of safe drinking water that will be both practical and protective of public health.

Safe Drinking Water Act 2011 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2012

The Safe Drinking Water Act 2011 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2012 commenced on 1 March 2013. The Act is based on the implementation of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines with key components being consistent with interstate and international legislation including:

  • registration of drinking water providers
  • implementation of risk management plans including approved monitoring programs and incident notification protocols
  • regular audits and inspections of drinking water providers
  • reporting of results to the Department for Health and Wellbeing
  • provision of results to consumers on request.

The Act applies to all drinking water providers who supply water to the public including SA Water, operators of independent town supplies and supplies in rural and remote communities, water carters and providers of drinking water in facilities including hospitals, accommodation premises, child care and aged care centres.

The Act does not apply to domestic use of rainwater tanks or other private supplies. Provisions for exemptions have been included for small supplies derived from rainwater tanks in low risk premises such as short-term accommodation facilities (for example bed and breakfasts, hotels, caravan parks and camping grounds) recreational or community centres and church and council buildings.

For more information

For more information, see the Safe drinking water page or contact:

Phone: (08) 8226 7100.