Reporting drinking water incidents
Drinking water incidents must be reported to the water supply regulator (i.e. the Director-General of the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water).
Generally, drinking water incidents include:
- a detection of Escherichia coli (E. coli)
- an exceedance of a health guideline value in the Australian drinking water guidelines (ADWG)
- detections of parameters with no guideline valued in the ADWG
- water quality events that a service provider cannot manage within existing processes and/or that may impact on the health of customers.
Drinking water quality
Note: The department does not manage drinking water supplies. If you have a problem with the quality of your drinking water, contact your drinking water service provider.
Your drinking water service provider is responsible for providing a safe and reliable water supply, and to rectify any problems that may occur. The department does not have operational control of individual provider's systems, and does not intervene on behalf of a customer.
How to report
Incidents must be reported by telephoning 1300 596 709. This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All incidents must be reported immediately after the provider becomes aware of an incident.
Use the following forms to report an incident.
- Notification of a drinking water event or detection of a parameter with no water quality criteria: Form WSR507 (PDF, 1.1MB) and the explanatory notes and instructions (PDF, 635KB)
- Notice of non-compliance with water quality criteria: Drinking water: Form WSR017 (PDF, 623KB) (for service providers with an approved drinking water quality management plan (DWQMP)) and the explanatory notes and instructions (PDF, 174KB)
- Drinking water quality: Incident reporting: Form WSR503 (PDF, 650KB) (for service providers without an approved DWQMP) and the explanatory notes and instructions (PDF, 158KB)
The following resources can assist when compiling information to report an incident.
- E. coli annual value: calculation tool (XLS, 202.5KB)
- Use of E. coli test kits for drinking water compliance monitoring (PDF, 75KB)
Why incidents need to be reported
- Provides assurance to the water supply regulator and Queensland Health that the incident is being managed appropriately to protect the health of customers.
- Helps to identify trends or emerging issues that may not be adequately or appropriately addressed in the DWQMP.
- Provides evidence that the DWQMP is being implemented and complied with.
- Enables service providers to seek advice or guidance to appropriately manage incidents.
- Incidents are assessed to determine if there are potential adverse public health impacts.
- Some incidents are reported to Queensland Health to enable the provision of public health advice or risk assessment where necessary.
How incidents are managed by the water supply regulator
Incidents are reviewed and assessed for compliance against approved DWQMPs.
Detailed information on water quality and incident reporting are outlined in the Water quality and reporting guideline for a drinking water service (PDF, 564KB).