Water and sewerage acts, regulations and standards
Water Industry Act 2012
The Water Industry Act 2012 and its associated regulations provide a legislative framework to ensure that South Australian consumers have safe, reliable and quality water supplies, sewerage services and installations. The Act helps plan water supply and demand and provides guidance for the water industry through:
- price regulation
- regulating customer service standards
- informing technical standards for water and sewerage infrastructure, installations and plumbing
- performance monitoring of the water industry
- other measures relevant to using and managing water.
Water Industry Regulations 2012
The Water Industry Regulations 2012 define licensing, technical and safety requirements for water industry entities. The regulations also address the protection and use of water and sewerage infrastructure and equipment, and water conservation measures.
Water and sewerage infrastructure technical standards
The Technical Regulator publishes technical standards for people who design, install, inspect, alter, repair, maintain, remove, disconnect or decommission water and sewerage infrastructure, as defined by the Water Industry Act 2012.
The Technical Regulator has published an Infrastructure Standard which adopts the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) codes as the principle minimum Standard for water and sewerage infrastructure.
The intent is not for legacy assets to be updated, but that going forward, WSAA codes, supplementary notices and supporting documents which are equivalent to or exceed WSAA requirements shall be used for any design, installation, inspection, alteration, repair, maintenance, removal, disconnection or decommissioning of water and sewerage infrastructure.
The WSAA codes complement standards, codes and guidelines in current legislation – a copy is available for viewing at the Office of the Technical Regulator.
By formalising the WSAA codes as the Infrastructure Standard, the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) recognises that the WSAA codes have gone through a peer-review process and are widely accepted for the requirements of water and sewerage infrastructure.
If utilities produce supplementary notices and supporting documents which are equivalent to or exceed WSAA requirements, then these will be recognised as suitable as part of this standard.
Standard for Dual Reticulation Infrastructure
The Technical Regulator has published the Standard for Dual Reticulation Infrastructure It prescribes the minimum requirements and responsibilities of all parties involved in dual reticulation infrastructure to ensure the safety and reliability of the water services provided to South Australian consumers. .
The Standard has been published after extensive consultation with stakeholders from the South Australian water industry.
The intent is not for legacy assets to be updated, but that going forward, the design, installation and construction of dual reticulation infrastructure including — up to the point of connection to a property — will be in accordance with the Standard.
This Standard is in addition to requirements set out in the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) codes.
A 12-month transition period is in place to allow entities to adapt to the new requirements. The transition period will end on 30 June 2021.
Can the Standard be implemented before the transition period end?
Yes, the OTR recommends that all entities adopt the Standard as early as possible.
Is the Standard retrospective?
No, the Standard applies only to new dual reticulation infrastructure. However, replacement of existing infrastructure is expected to comply with the Standard.
Why did the Technical Regulator decide to publish the Standard?
Numerous cross-connections incidents have occurred in recent years resulting in consumers being supplied non-drinking water instead of drinking water. Following one incident, a report was prepared by a consultant recommending that the Technical Regulator develop a Standard to normalise practices within the industry for dual reticulation infrastructure.
Does the Standard apply to parks and reserves as well?
Yes, the Standard applies to any property, whether a building or an area of land, that is supplied by both drinking and non-drinking water.
Will this Standard be incorporated in the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) codes?
The Technical Regulator has no objection in the Standard being part of the WSAA codes, however, it is outside the Technical Regulator’s authority to rule the WSAA to adopt the Standard.
The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) test described is in relation to work undertaken on services connected to the property. What about work carried out within the property by licensed plumbers?
The Standard applies to the Infrastructure side only, separate requirements are in place for all plumbing work.
Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) codes
Codes and extracts are available from the WSAA shop.
SA Water infrastructure standards and guidelines
The SA Water technical standards and guidelines can be viewed at the SA Water website.