Water and sewerage services

Under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, a water service includes:

  • water harvesting or collection (e.g. dams, weirs, bores and direct extraction from watercourses)
  • the transmission of water
  • the reticulation of water
  • drainage infrastructure other than for stormwater drainage
  • water treatment and recycling.

Water services providers

In Queensland, water service providers include:

  • drinking water service providers (mainly local governments)
  • recycled water providers (who are not required to register as a service provider unless they also provide another water or sewerage service)
  • bulk water service providers and water authorities.

Bulk water providers, such as Seqwater and SunWater, generally provide water to local councils as the source of their drinking water supplies.

Water authorities are divided into Category 1 and Category 2. Category 1 water authorities, Gladstone Area Water Board and Mount Isa Water Board also provide water to local councils for drinking water. Category 1 water authorities operate on a much larger scale than Category 2 water authorities.

Both categories are overseen by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

Sewerage services

A sewerage service includes:

  • the collection of sewage
  • the transmission of sewage
  • the treatment of sewage
  • the disposal of sewage or treated effluent.

Role of the water supply regulator

The water supply regulator (i.e. the Director-General of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy) is responsible for regulating:

  • water service provider performance
  • drinking water quality and provision
  • recycled water quality.

The regulator provides a framework for regulated water service organisations including:

The regulator also monitors the compliance of emergency action plans for referable dams and ensures the communications and warnings set out in these plans are implemented.

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy ensures that these systems are managed effectively and that regulated water service organisations understand and adhere to their obligations.

The Water supply regulation annual compliance plan: 2016–2017 (PDF, 275KB) outlines the department's approach to regulatory practices, ensuring legislative obligations are met, as well as compliance with laws aimed at safeguarding Queensland's water supply.

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