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Drinking water


Water Supply Regulation (within the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy) is responsible for the implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.

Queensland Health is a co-regulator and our responsibilities include:

  • administering the Public Health Act 2005 and Public Health Regulation 2018 that support the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008
  • working closely with Water Supply Regulation
  • providing expert health advice and support for risk assessment and incident management.

Read more about water supply and regulation in Queensland.

The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines provide a framework for good management of drinking water supplies to ensure safety of drinking water. The drinking water quality requirements in the Public Health Act 2005 and Public Health Regulation 2018 are based on these guidelines.

Drinking water service providers

Drinking water service providers include all councils or businesses involved in treating, storing, distributing and reticulating water for drinking purposes. They need to be registered under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 to provide the drinking water service, and they are then subject to state government regulation.

Drinking water service providers are responsible for managing and operating their water supply, monitoring water quality, handling customer complaints and working with the Queensland government regulators in the event of incidents.

Read more about registered drinking water service providers

Find a List of registered water supply and sewerage service providers

Drinking water advisories

A drinking water advisory is a communication about an event that has, or could potentially have, an adverse impact on drinking water quality.

The most common type of drinking water advisory is a ‘boil water alert’. A boil water alert tells customers to boil their water and is typically issued because of concern about microbial contamination. Less common types of drinking water advisories are ‘do not consume’ and ‘do not use’ alerts.

In Queensland, drinking water service providers are responsible for issuing drinking water advisories.

Find guidelines and templates to assist drinking water service providers prepare and issue drinking water advisories (PDF 287 kB)

Private drinking water supply

When treated reticulated (town) water is not available, an alternative source of water is required; this alternative supply is referred to as a private water supply. If the private water supply is used for drinking, then the water supply is referred to as a private drinking water supply.

Such supplies exist at:

  • Schools in some regional/remote areas
  • Tourist attractions/accommodation businesses (eg: Bed and breakfast businesses that are not connected to town water systems).

Under the Public Health Act 2005, local government is responsible for the regulation of private drinking water supplies.

Last updated: 26 July 2019

Water quality monitoring

Find out more about water quality monitoring and data as well as how water quality affects the ecosystem.

Guidance on the use of rainwater tanks

Rainwater tank water should only be used for drinking, personal hygiene and food preparation where there is no access to reticulated (or town) water. There are many other uses for rainwater, including water conservation. The Australian government provides guidance on the use of rainwater tanks, including tips for design, installation and maintenance, as well as minimising potential water quality hazards.

Read more about uses and maintenance of rainwater tanks.