Teacher background information
Drinking water is defined as water intended primarily for human consumption, either directly, as supplied from the tap, or indirectly, in beverages, ice or foods prepared with water.
Supplying quality drinking water in WA
Every day Water Corporation provides quality drinking water to Perth and over 220 small communities scattered throughout WA. It is one of Australia’s largest water suppliers delivering over 366 billion litres of high quality drinking water from 128 dams and weirs and 96 borefields to over a million properties.
We manage water quality from source water through to the consumer, and strongly advocate source protection and primacy of drinking water quality over other land use. We also use a risk-based approach to identify and manage potential threats to water quality.
Protecting our drinking water
Preventing contamination and minimising potential hazards is an essential part of providing safe drinking water. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) represents the latest scientific evidence on good quality drinking water. Multiple barriers are used to ensure the safety of drinking water, these include:
- protected catchments and groundwater recharge areas
- large reservoirs with long water storage times
- water treatment and disinfection
- maintaining chlorine residuals through the system
- ensuring tanks and bores are sealed.
How we can help protect our water supply
Providing consistently safe drinking water is critical to the health and wellbeing of WA. Many of us take for granted that we can safely drink water straight from the tap.
No matter where our water comes from, in order to be able to drink it, it needs to be disinfected to ensure that it is of drinking water quality standard. Treatment is resource heavy and costly. If we can do more to safeguard our water at its source, then it requires less treatment.
We can all do our bit to safeguard our precious water supply by:
- reducing our use of pesticides, detergents and fertilisers
- stopping the dumping of rubbish
- abiding by catchment care requirements
- reporting dumped items in a catchment
- being waterwise and do as much as we can to save water.
Did you know?
Water Corporation operates over 34,000 kilometres of water main. Add another 6,075 kilometres and it could wrap around Earth’s Equator (40,075 kms). That’s a lot of pipe!