We live in a world-class city, so it’s no surprise that our drinking water is among the best in the world. We protect our community by providing locally sourced, clean and safe drinking water to over 5 million people every day. How we do it takes a lot of science and dedication.
It’s our job to make sure you have access to high-quality drinking water that tastes great and is safe to drink straight from the tap.
There are lots of ways to produce safe drinking water. Most of the time, it involves a physical process (like filtering) and a chemical process (like balancing pH).
All around the world people choose methods of producing drinking water that:
It's also important to consider the water source and tailor the process to suit it. The quality of the incoming water could be different because of:
In Sydney, we use modern water filtration and desalination plants. This ensures we achieve a consistent, high standard. Every drop meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, which are some of the strictest in the world.
You might like to investigate how other parts of the world produce drinking water. Learn more at Water Aid.
As a final step, we add small amounts of fluoride to the water as a safe and effective way of preventing dental decay. It’s not part of the filtration process, but is done under the advice of NSW Health.
Learn more about how we filter water at Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant.
The desalination plant uses reverse osmosis membranes to extract freshwater from saltwater. These membranes are a physical barrier that block dissolved solids like salt, so only freshwater can pass through.
Desalinated water is excellent quality, meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and is monitored by NSW Health just like all our drinking water.
Unlike rivers and dams, the amount of water in oceans isn't affected by changing rainfall.
Desalination can give us a reliable supply of drinking water. While the plant is operating, we can adjust the capacity based on our system's needs.
Learn more about Sydney Desalination Plant.
Using everyday items, discover what makes a good water filter and learn how Sydney's water is filtered so it's safe to drink.
It's important that our water is safe to drink, but high quality water means much more than that.
People like their water to:
We have Australian Drinking Water Guidelines that tell us exactly what high quality water should be like.
Did you know we do over 70 different tests to make sure your drinking water meets the guidelines?
We take samples from:
We test the samples for a range of water quality characteristics.
The characteristics are categorised as physical, chemical and microbial.
Our Sydney Water Monitoring Services laboratory is one of the leading water testing facilities in Australia. It provides a range of biological and chemical tests. Our laboratory and field sampling teams are accredited by Australia’s National Association of Testing Authorities.
Find out more about the water analysis in your area.
Want to visit one of our sites? We offer free excursions and technical tours to schools, universities and community groups.