NSW Health is a regulatory agency for both Sydney Water
Corporation and WaterNSW under the Sydney
Water Act 1994 and the WaterNSW Act
In Sydney, water collected in storages prior to treatment is
managed by WaterNSW which formed in 2014
from the merger of the Sydney Catchment Authority and State Water.
Sydney Water then treats the water at one of
their nine filtration plants before it is distributed to consumers.
A principal objective of WaterNSW under the WaterNSW Act 2014 is to ensure that declared catchment areas and
water management works in such areas are managed and protected so as to promote
water quality, the protection of public health and public safety, and the
protection of the environment. Similarly, a principal objective of Sydney
Water under the Sydney Water Act 1994
is to protect public health by supplying safe drinking water to its customers
and other members of the public. Sydney Water publishes an online dashboard
showing the performance of critical treatment processes that ensure the safety
of Sydney’s drinking water.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) administers
the operating licences of both Sydney Water and WaterNSW which specify that
drinking water should be managed in accordance with the Framework for
Management of Drinking Water Quality in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and that all relevant activities should be
carried out to the satisfaction of NSW Health. Sydney Water and WaterNSW are
audited annually against their operating licences by IPART.
NSW Health advises Sydney Water and WaterNSW on the
application of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines to ensure safe supply of drinking water. NSW Health
maintains a memorandum of understanding with both WaterNSW and
Sydney Water and WaterNSW are required to report to NSW
Health any information or event within their water supply system or operations
which may adversely affect public health.
The NSW Chief Health Officer has the responsibility for
issuing advice to the public regarding measures available to minimise risk from
disease, including water-borne disease. For more information, see the NSW Health response protocol for Sydney Water.