Private Water Supplies

Private drinking water supplies, such as rainwater and bores can be safe for drinking, but water quality can be variable. Illness can occur as a result of people drinking contaminated water.

To minimise risks and keep your water supply system safe:

  • make sure your drinking water comes from a good-quality source
  • regularly maintain your water supply system
  • where required use the right treatment steps.

Before establishing a new private water supply, you should consult your local council to obtain any approvals that may be required.

A licence is normally required from the Land and Water Division of Department of Primary Industries under water management legislation to install a bore and extract water, and may be required for the pumping of water from a river or creek.

The Public Health Act requires all commercial operators of private water supplies to submit to NSW Health a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) before operating a water supply.

A private drinking water supply system includes everything from the collection of the source water to the point where the water reaches the consumer. A QAP will include information as follows:

  • Planning on how to respond to problems in the water supply system
  • Understanding hazards to your water sources
  • Any water treatment to remove or control any contamination
  • Monitoring and checking on the quality of the water and the integrity of the water system
  • Public warnings for treated and untreated systems when water may not meet health guidelines
For more information, visit: