Drinking Water Quality

Drinking Water Quality

A safe drinking water supply is essential for good health.

How do I know if my water is safe to drink?

Please select from the following:

Analysing the safety of your water

If you get your drinking water from a water corporation, water quality results can be obtained from TasWater on 13MYWATER (136992).

For other water sources, the only way to ascertain if water is both microbiologically and chemically safe to drink is to undertake sampling and analysis by an accredited laboratory.

If you wish to do this, contact a laboratory service provider who can advise you on:

  • sample methodology
  • container type
  • sample volume
  • sample preservation
  • sample transport.

There is a cost associated with the laboratory testing.

Plumbing Issues

In some cases, water can sit in internal plumbing for extended periods of time, typically overnight or after holidays. This stagnancy may increase the likelihood of metals that are present in some plumbing products, such as copper, nickel and lead, leaching or dissolving them. Hot water systems may contain more dissolved minerals and metals due to the heating process.

Do not drink water that tastes, smells or appears different.

Remember to flush your taps

Householders can proactively reduce their exposure to metals in drinking water through the following measures:

  • Using water from cold taps only for drinking, food preparation and cooking.
  • Flushing cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about 30 seconds first thing in the morning to draw fresh water through the tap
  • Flushing cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about 2-3 minutes after periods of non-use, such as return from holidays. This flushed water can be collected and used for washing dishes, garden irrigation and other non-drinking uses

Building and Asset Managers

For facilities such as healthcare and schools, consult the building manager on the type of plumbing and optimal management regime for removing water that has been sitting in plumbing for extended periods of time.

Public drinking water fountains and publicly accessible tap

In the case of public drinking water fountains and publicly accessible taps, water may have been sitting stagnant. It is therefore good practice to flush public drinking water fountains and publicly accessible taps for about 30 seconds to draw fresh water through the outlet.

Further advice

The Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has developed guidance on heavy metals and reducing your exposure through drinking water:

More information can be found on the enHealth website

October 2018