Licencing requirements for water carriers

Water carriers that supply water for drinking purposes are required to hold a mobile food business licence under the Food Act 2006.

Council regulates the licencing of water carriers to ensure drinking water is supplied in a safe and hygienic manner and that tanks are lined with suitable food-grade coating.  

Water carriers with a food business licence must adhere to the following requirements:

  • The vehicle must only be used for domestic water distribution.
  • Carriers are required to be available for inspection by a Council officer at any time.
  • Carriers may only source treated drinking water from an approved potable water source, for example, a Unitywater standpipe.
  • Adequate measures must be taken to prevent contamination of the source of supply, distribution tank and container into which the water is being transferred.

Refer to Food business for further information on mobile food business licences. 

Guidelines for water carrier vehicles

Signage on tanks

Tanks must clearly display: 

  • the trading name and phone number, no less than 75 millimetres in height for each for each
  • the licence number and tanker approval number, no less than 100 millimetres in height for each
  • a sign that says 'DRINKING WATER ONLY', no less than 150 millimetres in height
  • the mobile food vehicle licence number. 

Hoses, pumps, and fittings

The pump and related fittings, including hoses and pipes, on a water tanker must only be used to draw water for human consumption.

Delivery hoses have to comply with the relevant Australian Standards, such as 2070–1999 (Plastic materials for food contact use), or relevant International Standards.

Hoses, fittings, the pump and water tank must be leak-free at all times. They must be kept in a clean, well-maintained condition externally and internally.

Suitable storage areas for fittings and hoses must be provided on the tanker to prevent contamination. The delivery fittings attached to the delivery pump must be adequately capped and protected to prevent contamination of couplings and fittings.

Water tank inner lining

Tanks used for the storage and transportation of potable water need to be made with materials that do not compromise the safety of the water. The material must be suitable and safe for contact with portable water under the relevant Australian Standard.

Applicable standards or certification include:

  • AS/NZS 4020: 2018 Testing of products for use in contact with drinking water
  • AS 2070: 1999 Plastics materials for food contact use
  • Australian Technical Standard ATS 5200.026: 2004 Technical specification for plumbing and drainage products, cold water storage products
  • AS/NZS 4766: 2006 Rotationally moulded buried, partially buried, and non-buried storage tanks for water and chemicals
  • WaterMark.

Backflow prevention systems

Vehicles must be fitted with backflow prevention systems in accordance with Australian Standard 3500-2003 (Plumbing and drainage set). Backflow devices on tanks used solely for the bulk cartage of drinking water must conform to the medium hazard rating of Australian Standard/New Zealand Standard 3500.1-2003 (Plumbing and drainage - water services).

The vehicle must also display a backflow approval tag on the rear driver’s side. Refer to backflow prevention devices for more information.

Proper sanitising of tanks, fittings and hoses

Cleaning and sanitising, with a solution of 35 millilitres of sodium hypochlorite (12.5 percent available chlorine) per 1000 litres of water should be done on a regular basis.

The dose rate must give a free residual chlorine level of not less than 1 part per million (ppm) after 30 minutes contact time.

The solution needs to be disposed of in an approved manner, and the tanks, hoses and fittings flushed with clean water.

Details required for logbooks

When completing a logbook, you must include:

  • the place where water is obtained, the amount drawn and the metered standpipe readings
  • the place and date where water is delivered and the amount at each location
  • the printed name and signature of the driver for each delivery
  • any treatment carried out to the tanker
  • any rejection of water.

Standpipe access

Contact Unitywater for details on how to access Unitywater fill stations and standpipes and relevant permits and fees.

For information on obtaining an approval, contact Council.