Elevated levels of lead in water at Perth Children's Hospital

Residents surrounding the Perth Children’s Hospital can be reassured that their water supply meets all health related requirements and is completely safe for use.

Is my water safe to drink?

Water Corporation assures residents in the surrounding suburbs near the Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) that their water supply meets all health related requirements and is completely safe for use. 

Supplying safe drinking water is always our highest priority.

How do you know it is safe?

In response to the issues at PCH we are carrying out additional testing near this site, the most recent on 25 January 2017, which indicated no detection of lead.

We test for lead annually in this water supply zone, which is supported by the Department of Health and is consistent with advice from the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. The test is carried out once a year as the risk from water sources, and pipes and fittings is very low in Perth.  

In the past 15 years there has been no lead detected in samples taken in this water zone that supplies the area around the PCH, or in the entire Integrated Water Supply Scheme, which supplies around 290 billion litres of water to two million people each year.

Does Water Corporation supply the PCH construction site?

No, Water Corporation does not supply directly to the PCH site.  

The Water Corporation supplies to the QEII complex via 2 meters. The QEII site buildings, including PCH, are connected by a ‘ring main’ administered by Department of Health through a shared network of private pipes.

In Western Australia (and in most other parts of Australia), the responsibility of water suppliers ends at the point of supply to the customer, typically at the water meter. 

The primary responsibility for ensuring that water supplied beyond the water meter remains safe rests with the building site owners/managers, plumbing and building regulators, plumbers, plumbing material suppliers or private individuals. 

The ring main within the QEII site is beyond our water meter, and hence the quality of the water is the responsibility of the site owners.  

Where in the water supply do you carry out testing?

In addition to on-line, continuous monitoring at our drinking water treatment plants, we carry out regular sampling at the water source, treatment locations and at points along the water supply network for microbiological, chemical and physical parameters. 

These samples are analysed by independent laboratories.

As soon as we became aware of the PCH construction site lead issue in September 2016, we installed two additional sampling points on the Corporation’s supply into QEII at Monash Avenue and Aberdare Road. 

We conducted sampling at these points on 9 September 2016 and again on 25 January 2017. In addition, past compliance sampling for lead within the Mt Eliza Zone was reviewed. These tests indicated no detection of lead. 

How is drinking water quality regulated?

The Department of Health regulates drinking water quality in Western Australia. The Department audits our water quality, management and reporting systems to ensure we consistently comply with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

How can I find out more information about drinking water quality?

Details and results from our extensive drinking water quality monitoring program can be found on our Drinking water quality page.

You can also read our media release (27 January 2017).

If you are concerned about your drinking water, call us on 13 13 75.