Many rural communities do not have mains drinking water access, and instead rely on private drinking water supplies. These include:
  • rainwater
  • groundwater (bores)
  • surface water (such as dams, rivers, creeks and irrigation channels).

Some areas rely on private water for drinking and food preparation, including for commercial and community facilities. Guidance for these facilities is available for download on this page.

Some schools also rely on private drinking water supplies. Guidance to develop a water supply management plan for schools to help identify and manage hazards and risks is available for download on this page.

Levels of risk for different drinking water sources are shown in the risk hierarchy below. Always use the highest quality of water available for drinking.

risk-hierachy-private-dw 

Many rural communities do not have mains drinking water access, and instead rely on private drinking water supplies