New laws for businesses with their own water

Businesses that provide drinking water to customers where the water is not from a Council water supply need to develop and adhere to a ‘quality assurance program’ by 1 September 2014. This is a new requirement of the NSW Public Health Act 2010.

A quality assurance program will help businesses protect the health of their customers by identifying and managing risks to their drinking water supply.

Environmental Health Officer Mr Jason Harwood said the new laws apply to anyone who supplies water to customers in the course of their business, when the water comes from a river, creek, dam, bore or rainwater.

“Each year thousands of people visit facilities that rely on private water supplies, such as caravan parks, school camps, and tourist attractions,” said Mr Harwood.

“Operators have a legal responsibility to provide a safe water supply. Serious outbreaks of gastroenteritis have occurred as a result of people drinking contaminated water from private water supplies.”

“The NSW Health website has a number of documents to assist businesses to understand and comply with the laws, including a quality assurance program template and the NSW Private Water Supply Guidelines:

“NSW Health also has on the webpage some examples of quality assurance programs from private water supplies from around the state; from a guest house, a camping ground, a café, a general store, a motel and a bed and breakfast premises,” said Mr Harwood.

Once a business has developed its own quality assurance program it should be made available to staff and a copy must be sent to the Far West Public Health Unit.

The quality assurance program should include records of maintenance, monitoring and repairs and should be updated as changes are made to the water supply system.

For more information please contact the Far West Public Health Unit on (08) 8080 1420.

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