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Risk management plans for drinking water providers

Risk management plans (RMPs) are recognised as an essential feature for assuring drinking water quality.

All new providers must have a RMP in place prior to commencing supply.

Standard RMPs have been prepared by SA Health which can be adopted for use by various small drinking water providers. Larger, more complex drinking water providers will need to develop their own Custom RMP.

Further information

For further information relating to risk management plans, contact SA Health's Water Quality Unit on:

Standard RMPs

Standard RMPs are available for use by small water supplies in the following settings:

Adopting a standard risk management plan

Once you have determined one of the above Standard RMPs is suitable for use with your water supply, notify SA Health's Water Quality Unit using the Notification of adoption of a standard RMP form (DOCX 307KB)

Incident notifications

The Standard RMPs prepared by SA Health include approved incident identification and notification protocols, listing defined criteria for incidents and the notification requirements. 

Please use the Incident notification form (DOCX 360KB) when using a Standard RMPs.

Custom RMPs

More complex water supplies including the following will need to develop a custom RMP: 

  • medium drinking water providers - greater than 2,000 population
  • large drinking water providers - greater than 50,000 population
  • surface water suppliers

Preparing a Custom RMP

Section 13 of the Safe Drinking Water Act 2011 lists what is required to be included in your RMP. Ensure your RMP:

  • contains a detailed description of the drinking water supply
  • identifies the risks to the quality of the water, assesses risks and sets out steps to manage the risks
  • includes a monitoring program covering both operational monitoring and water quality monitoring
  • includes an Incident Identification and Notification protocol

Assistance and guidance

If you are preparing a Custom RMP there a number of resources available to assist you to ensure that you meet the requirements under the Act. These include:

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines provides a framework for management of drinking water quality, provides a reference for what defines safe, good quality water, how it can be achieved and how it can be assured.

Community Water Planner

The Community Water Planner is a web-based tool designed to assist in the development of risk management plans, particularly suited to remote communities.  Refer to the Developing a Custom Risk Management Plan with the Community Water Planner (PDF 247KB) for guidance using this tool. 

SA Health Standard RMPs and templates

The standard RMPs developed by SA Health can be used as guidance on the type of information to be included in your custom RMP. Additional information is also available in the Monitoring and incident identification and notification templates for medium bore water supplies with RO treatment (DOCX 323KB) 

Submission to SA Health for approval

Section 14 of the Act requires you to submit certain parts of your RMP to SA Health's Water Quality Unit for approval. This includes your Monitoring Program and your Incident Identification and Notification protocol. Refer to the Submitting Monitoring Plans and Incident Notification Protocols for approval for guidance on what to submit.

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