Audits and inspections for safe drinking water

Audits and inspections are required under the Safe Drinking Water Act 2011 to ensure that the key features of the Act have been applied. 

The audit or Inspection process will:

  • ensure that a drinking water provider has complied with their risk management plan
  • review monitoring results
  • review maintenance records
  • provide opportunity to remedy any deficiencies identified.

Auditors will provide all audit and inspection reports to SA Health.

It is the responsibility of the drinking water provider to organise an audit or inspection as required. This must be carried out by an approved auditor or inspector.

It is intended that audits and inspections will be combined with existing activities where possible, for example, with food audits or inspections where applicable.

Audit and inspection schedule

The requirement for an audit or inspection and its frequency is determined by the size and complexity of the water supply. To determine whether an audit or inspection is required for your drinking water supply, see the Audits and inspections schedule for drinking water providers (PDF 160KB)

Audits and inspections must be completed by 30 June on a yearly or 2 yearly frequency as determined by the audit and inspection schedule and as outlined in letter issued to approved drinking water providers. 

Approved auditors and inspectors

To arrange an audit or inspection, see the Approved auditors and inspectors page. To ensure you comply with the requirements, use an auditor/inspector appropriately classified.

Note: An auditor can carry out the functions of an inspector.

Classification levels

The type of drinking water providers an auditor/inspector can audit or inspect depends on their level of experience and qualifications. The varying classification levels are:

  • Level 1 auditors - can audit or inspect any drinking water provider.
  • Level 2 auditors - can audit or inspect all providers excluding large drinking water supplies servicing greater than 50,000 population.
  • Level 3 inspectors - can inspect water carters, small rainwater and bore water supplies (excluding supplies in regulated care premises and childcare premises) and on-supplies.

Fees for routine and non-routine audits/inspections

The Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2012 prescribe a maximum fee of $200 for non-routine inspections undertaken by an authorised officer. 

The Safe Drinking Water Act 2011 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2012 do not prescribe fees for the provision of routine audit and inspection services by councils or independent auditors or inspectors.

On the 21 December 2023, the Safe Drinking Water (Fees) Notice 2023 was published in the South Australian Government Gazette (Number 91, 2023) prescribing a schedule of fees for routine audits and inspections conducted by SA Health.The introduction of these fees does not impact fees charged by councils or independent auditors or inspectors. Please discuss any applicable fees with your chosen auditor/inspector.

Fees for audits and inspections undertaken by SA Health are summarised below. Note:

  • where a drinking water provider aligns with multiple levels, the higher level applies. For example, a winery using a surface water supply (River Murray or Dam) would align to Level 1.
  • fees do not apply for not-for-profit organisations.

Level 3 drinking water provider

$209 + GST

  1. water carters
  2. small rainwater supplies
  3. small bore water supplies
  4. regulated care premises
  5. education - childcare and preschool
  6. education – primary and secondary schools
  7. regulated food premises
  8. primary producers (excluding dairy)
  9. accommodation and food premises
  10. wineries and restaurants; or
  11. on-supply from other drinking water provider where materially altered by treatment or extended storage

Level 2 drinking water provider

$418 + GST

  1. desalinated water supplies
  2. bore water with reverse osmosis treatment; or
  3. providers with multiple source waters – rainwater and bore water

Level 1 drinking water provider

$627 + GST. 

  1. drinking water providers greater than 2,000 population; or
  2. surface water supplies – River Murray or Dam

Follow up audit or inspection

$209 + GST for all providers. Fees do not apply for not-for-profit organisations.

Frequently asked questions

Several frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents have been developed to provide further information on the introduction of fees by SA Health:

Further information and resources

For further information, see the following pages: