Water quality monitoring

Water quality monitoring

officer testing water quality

We monitor water quality in rivers, water bodies and the delivery network.

WaterNSW operates an extensive water quality and quantity monitoring program to track how we are meeting quality standards for our customers along with public health requirements.

We monitor sites in rivers, water bodies, groundwater, water storages and the delivery network. Monitoring is a critical tool for managing the water supply - as it provides early warning of changes to water quality - so that the configuration of the water supply system can be adapted to ensure only the best quality water is supplied to our customers. It also helps verify the effectiveness of our actions.

There are two key components to our monitoring program:

  1. Routine and compliance monitoring - this monitoring aims to ensure that water intended for drinking supplied to WaterNSW customers meets the standards set by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
  2. Event and investigative monitoring includes:
    • Event/Incident -based monitoring in response to rainfall and other events (eg a chemical spill or algal bloom requiring risk assessment)
    • Investigative monitoring to identify contaminant sources or causes of water quality changes
    • Research monitoring to trial new methods or analyse new or emerging risks or issues
    • Evaluation monitoring to assess effectiveness of actions or to validate models

For incidents such as suspected or actual pollution, major floods, or any water quality problems, WaterNSW has developed contingency and emergency response plans to deal with potential events.

We work to continuously increase our scientific knowledge of the behaviour of water in the dams and storages. This will enable us to ensure only the highest quality water is drawn off for supply to our customers. A range of options are available for how we manage the reservoirs and protect water quality, providing flexibility for how we manage the water supply.

For detailed water quality data collected from our catchments and storages, see our annual water quality monitoring reports.


Tuesday 17 May
2,573,926 ML
2,581,850 ML
9,342 ML
1,335 ML
50,768 ML
Tuesday 17 May