Using non-drinking water

Using non-drinking water

There are some parts of South Australia where we can deliver water, but it doesn’t reach drinking quality. Non-drinking water is water we supply without treatment.

We classify non-drinking water into two categories: microbiological or microbiological and chemical. These could occur when your water is drawn from sources that may contain naturally-occurring contaminants.

You will know which type of non-drinking water is supplied to your area as we’ll send you the right guide with every water bill. If you would like a copy, please contact our Customer Care Centre on 1300 729 283.

Livestock and animal health

If you have questions about non-drinking water for livestock, please contact Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA)’s Biosecurity SA division (animal health) on 08 8207 7900.

A guide to non-drinking water - microbiological

If you are in an area where non-drinking water is classified as microbiological, you need to boil your water before it is safe.

The micro-organism Naegleria fowleri may be present in your supply. If you have any questions about this bacteria, we recommend you visit SA Health who have specific information.

Boiling your water will make it safe to drink

Together with SA Health, we advise that you:

  1. Boil non-drinking water before using it for drinking, food preparation and cleaning teeth. Boiling does not have to be maintained for any length of time. Kettles with automatic shut-offs are suitable. The water can then be cooled and stored in a clean container.
  2. Always wash fruits and vegetables, including home grown, with drinking water (rain, boiled or packaged) before eating.
  3. Do not connect your non-drinking mains supply to your drinking water source (your rainwater tank).
  4. Tell everyone who lives at your property, as well as visitors, to be aware of these precautions.
  5. Install and maintain ‘Water not suitable for drinking’ signs at all accessible taps connected to your non-drinking water supply.
  6. Avoid swallowing water or allowing water to go up your nose when showering, bathing or using sinus irrigation products with unboiled water. Care must be taken to avoid activities that may result in water being forced up the nose including jumping, diving or falling into water.
  7. Children must avoid swallowing water or getting water up their nose when bathing or playing with water, including using a hose or a paddling pool.
  8. If using your non-drinking water supply in children paddling pools, do not leave this water in your pool for more than 24 hours.
  9. If using your non-drinking water supply to fill your swimming pool, ensure it is disinfected with a product such as chlorine, to reduce the microbiological risks. For detailed information, go to sahealth.sa.gov.au and search for ‘domestic swimming pools’.
  10. Set the temperature of storage hot water systems at 60ºC or higher. (Does not apply to instant hot water systems). Take care to avoid scalding.

This information is available as a set of signs or stickers. Please contact our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SA Water (1300 729 283) if you require them to be sent to you, or you would like a copy of this guide.

A guide to non-drinking water – microbiological and chemical

If you are in an area where non-drinking water is classified as microbiological and chemical, boiling your water will not make it safe to drink.

The micro-organism Naegleria fowleri may be present in your supply, along with other harmful chemicals, many of them naturally occurring. If you have any questions about this bacteria, we recommend you visit SA Health who have specific information.

Boiling your water will NOT make it safe to drink

Together with SA Health, we advise that you:

  1. Do not use it for food preparation and cleaning teeth.
  2. Always wash fruits and vegetables, including home-grown, with drinking water (rain or packaged) before eating.
  3. Do not connect your non-drinking mains supply to your drinking water source (your rainwater tank).
  4. Tell everyone who lives at your property, including visitors, to be aware of these precautions.
  5. Install and maintain ‘Water not suitable for drinking’ signs at all accessible taps connected to your non-drinking water supply.
  6. Avoid swallowing water or allowing water to go up your nose when showering, bathing or using sinus irrigation products with unboiled water. Care must be taken to avoid activities that may result in water being forced up the nose including jumping, diving or falling into water.
  7. Children must avoid swallowing water or getting water up their nose when bathing or playing with water, including using a hose or a paddling pool.
  8. If using your non-drinking water supply in children paddling pools, do not leave in pool for more than 24 hours.
  9. If using your non-drinking water supply to fill your swimming pools, ensure it is disinfected with a product such as chlorine, to reduce the microbiological risks. For detailed information, visit sahealth.sa.gov.au and search for “domestic swimming pools”.
  10. Set the temperature of storage hot water systems at 60ºC or higher. (Does not apply to instant hot water systems). Care should be taken to avoid scalding.

This information is available as a set of signs or stickers. Please contact our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SA Water (1300 729 283) if you require them to be sent to you, or you would like a copy of this guide.

  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Polkinghorns Rd
  • Arthurton
  • 18/06/2020
  • Water Supply On
  • 18/06/2020 03:05 PM - We are attending to an incident in Arthurton with no interruption to the water supply. The safety of our crews and customers comes first, and we always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as quickly as we can. Reference Number WO: 07505663.
  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • Pilatus Dr
  • Direk
  • 06/08/2020
  • Temporary Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time and water supply off: 07/08/2020 07:30 AM
    Estimated restore time and water supply back on: 07/08/2020 10:00 AM

    We’re improving your services and undertaking maintenance work in Direk. Sometimes our crews need to temporarily interrupt the water supply to our customers and/or manage traffic while they are working. Temporary traffic management may remain in place until reinstatement of the impacted road is complete. We always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as safely and quickly as we can.


  • See all scheduled works