Drinking Water Quality Management
In 2009 a new regulatory framework was introduced for Queensland potable water providers. Reporting on drinking water quality to the Office of the Water Supply Regulator (DERM) became mandatory for all Providers on 2 January 2009. Mandatory Drinking Water Quality Management Plans (DWQMPs) were required from large WSPs in March 2011 and in 2012 and 2013 for medium and small providers respectively.
qldwater played a crucial role in influencing the development of state guidelines and processes to simplify the transition for WSPs to statutory reporting and developing DWQMPs. Mandatory DWQMPs were introduced at a time when the industry was labouring under a raft of duplicative statutory planning requirements and were not initially supported by the industry if they were "just another plan". However, appropriate planning and management of drinking water quality has always been a priority for the urban water industry.
With further discussion with the regulator the new Queensland guidelines were designed to follow the risk-based approach of the internationally respected Australian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines (ADWG). Moreover, the Regulator has made a considered effort to assist the industry to transition to the new approach and also made it clear that management of drinking water quality is a priority for the State government. Most other jurisdictions have documents similar to the DWQMPs and the ADWG already underpinned many of the existing water quality programs of Queensland WSPs.
The industry continues to work with the Regulator to develop DWQMPs and meet the State requirements while maintaining community health and safety as the key priority. This partnership between industry and the regulator is leading to a constantly improving framework to ensure the ongoing provision of safe drinking water to Queensland communities.
At an operational level, qldwater was able to secure a clear articulation from the State that instantaneous coliform testing kits are an acceptable complementary tool to laboratory testing. This addresses some of the most critical issues for remote service providers in testing water quality, namely the ‘shelf life’ of water samples and the ability to respond immediately to results of water quality testing.
Related Topics and Links
Certification Drinking Water Operator Certification Discussion Paper August 2014 - Release Date 05-Aug-2014: - (938KB)
eFlash #184 - 13 November 2012 - Release Date 13-Nov-2012: - 1. New Publication - Overview of 2011 Australian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines (ADWG). | 2. New Code of Compliance for Sewage Pump Stations (ERA 63). | 3. 2013 Events and Promotional Video. | 4. Website Changes. | 5. International Water Centre Partial Scholarships. | (34KB)
Overview of 2011 Australian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines (ADWG) - Release Date 13-Nov-2012: - The Queensland and New South Wales Water Directorates have co-invested in the production of this summary document which helps make the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines more accessible. Note that this summary document is purely focussed on the ADWG. Links and summaries to Queensland-specific information including regulation are kept up to date at http://www.qldwater.com.au/DWQ. Non-members can purchase a copy by contacting the NSW Water Directorate email@example.com (339KB)
E. coli Field Tests for Drinking Water Compliance Monitoring - Release Date 30-Oct-2012: - This policy outlines the Department of Energy and Water Supply, Office of the Water Supply Regulator's policy regarding the use of field tests for the detection of E. coli in order to meet drinking water compliance requirements. | (589KB)
eFlash #183 - 30 October 2012 - Release Date 30-Oct-2012: - 1. Regional Development Australia Fund. | 2. Use of E. coli Test Kits. | 3. AWA QWater'12 Conference. | 4. 10 Partial Scholarships to Study IWC Graduate Certificate in Water Planning. | (39KB)
DERM DWQMP Guidelines - Release Date 15-Nov-2011: - Guidelines for creating a Drinking Water Quality Management Plan from DERM September 2010. (485KB)
DERM DWQMP Support Program workshops - Release Date 15-Nov-2011: - Desription of aim and function of DERM DWQMP support Program workshops in December 2011. (164KB)
DERM DWQMP Supporting Information - Release Date 15-Nov-2011: - Supporting Information for creating a DWQMP from DERM - September 2010. (355KB)
DERM DWQMP Template - Release Date 15-Nov-2011: - Template with Guidance Notes to assist in creating a Drinking Water Quality Management Plan from DERM September 2011 (832KB)
DERM Flyer - DWQMP workshops - Release Date 15-Nov-2011: - Flyer advertising DERM workshops in December 2011 to assist small and medium service providers in developing their Drinking Water Quality Management Plans. (198KB)
e Flash #144 - 7 November 2011 - Release Date 07-Nov-2011: - 1. Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. | 2. Legislative Change About Water Seepage Approvals. | 3. QPS New Suspicious Activity Reporting System for Critical Infrastructure and Priority Sites. | (40KB)
Significant changes in ADWG 2011 release - Release Date 07-Nov-2011: - Details of the 2011 ADWG have been sent out to all Water Service Providers. DERM have provided the attached excel file which lists all of the new of changed parameters in the health guideline section. This has also been emailed to all DERM water contacts in councils. (46KB)
e Flash #123 - 14 June 2011 - Release Date 14-Jun-2011: - 1. Drinking Water Quality Management Plans - DERM Workshops. | 2. Greentape Reduction Project. | (30KB)
e Flash #121 - 3 June 2011 - Release Date 03-Jun-2011: - 1. Drinking Water Quality Management Plans for Small and Medium Service Providers. | (30KB)
e Flash #119 - 25 May 2011 - Release Date 25-May-2011: - 1. Research to Address Chlorate Residuals. | 2. Water Sensitive Future Workshops. | 3. IWC Water Leader Scholarships. | (35KB)
e Flash #97 - 16 November 2010 - Release Date 16-Nov-2010: - 1. Drinking Water Quality Guidelines. | (26KB)
e Flash #93 - 4 October 2010 - Release Date 04-Oct-2010: - 1. Release of Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Guidelines for Large Water Service Providers. | 2. SWIM Water Data Due for ALL Queensland Service Providers by 8 October. |. 3. Productivity Commission Inquiry into Australia's Urban Water Sector. | (34KB)
Water incident management flowcharts (member example) - Release Date 29-Jan-2010: - High-level incident management flowcharts provided by Sunshine Coast Water, showing procedures followed in the event of a water incident. (952KB)
Water quality (E. coli) Fact Sheet - Release Date 22-Jun-2009: - This Fact Sheet provides basic background information on testing and monitoring for E.coli as well as information on what to do if E.coli is found in the water supply. It is available to members in a format that can be modified for use in public communication campaigns. | Download free for members. | Buy from the Bookshop. | Available for modification by members. | (426KB)
Water Treatment Plant Operations and Maintenance Manual - Release Date 30-Jan-2008: - This manual deals with treatment facilities at Water Treatment Plants and was developed as a collaborative project between the NSW and Queensland Water Directorates. The finalised manual incorporates input from NSW and Queensland Water Directorate committee members and independent third party reviewers. The users of this manual will be local government authorities from NSW and Queensland responsible for the operation and maintenance of facilities at WTPs. | Available to members only. | (6282KB)
DWQMP Workshop Agenda - Release Date 15-Nov-2011: - Agenda for December workshops in DERM Drinking Water Quality Management Plan support program. (38KB)
E.coli Fact Sheet - Release Date 12-Nov-2014: - (426KB)