Drinking Water

What is Drinking Water?

Drinking water or potable water is water of a quality suitable for drinking, cooking, and for personal hygiene. Suppliers of drinking water are required to monitor the quality of the water supply to ensure its safety.

Private Water Supplies as a Source of Drinking Water

Private water supplies are those provided by an independent water supply for a commercial purpose, e.g. a Bed and Breakfast or café connected to a rainwater tank. Private water supplies must be of potable standard and the suppliers are required to prepare and lodge a Quality Assurance Program with NSW Health.

Rainwater Tanks as a Source of Drinking Water

Rainwater tanks are widely used as a source of drinking water in rural Australia. It is important that tanks are properly maintained in order to protect water quality.

How to Get Your Water Quality Tested

Individuals who are concerned about the quality of water in their rainwater tank can contact:

  • Environmental Analysis Laboratory, Lismore, ph 02 6620 3678.
  • Richmond Water Laboratory, Rous Water, ph 02 6623 3888.

Both facilities can provide assistance with interpreting the results.

Recycled Water

Recycled water is not permitted to be used for drinking, cooking, personal hygiene, or for filling swimming pools or water tanks.

It is permitted for uses such as clothes washing, toilets, outdoor cleaning and gardening.

Further information

Any enquiries about Ballina's recycled water program can be made to Council’s Civil Services group, ph 6686 1497.

Any enquiries regarding drinking water, the use of private water supplies or rainwater tanks for drinking water can be made to Council's Development and Environmental Health Group, ph 02 6686 1210.


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