Water use in the workplace

The type of business you run will determine how you use water and which laws and regulations you need to comply with.

On this page you can find information about how and when you should use water in the workplace.

Water quality and testing

The quality of your water supply is not just a public health concern, it also impacts the environment, local wildlife and your business’ reputation.

The standard of water and testing you need to do will vary according to your industry and the way you use water. For example if you run a shop, café or restaurant you’re required by law to provide clean drinking water.

You may need to do an analysis on the quality of your water supply if your business uses water for:

  • aquatic facilities
  • irrigating crops
  • food production
  • maintaining animal habitats
  • scientific research
  • cleaning.

The National Measurement Institute provide a range of tests that determine the quality of the water you may supply.

To find out about safe drinking water, read the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Learn more about the regulations for maintaining water quality in your state or territory.

Water restrictions

Restrictions on the volume of water your business uses can have a big impact on your business.

This may include knowing what time of the day, or what season, you can use water for things such as irrigation, car washing or cleaning.

You can find out where current water restrictions are in place in your state or territory on the Bureau of Meteorology website.

Deductions for water assets

There are tax benefits for businesses that have a water facility. Examples include dams, tanks, tank stands, bores, wells, irrigation channels, pipes, pumps, water towers and windmills. You can also claim repairs and improvements.

You can find out if you can claim a deduction for water facilities on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Water efficiency standards

Certain products in your business that use water will have a water efficiency label. This is part of the mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme that helps the environment by reducing water consumption.

If you manufacture, import, sell or supply a product that falls under the WELS scheme, it needs to carry a WELS label. In addition, plumbers and builders need to ensure they don’t sell or supply a product without the WELS label.

If you supply or sell a WELS product you need to ensure that it:

  • is registered with the WELS regulator and the product has a WELS label
  • the label is clearly visible to customers while on for sale.

The scheme is enforceable by law and breach notices apply. You should make yourself aware of how compliance and enforcement of the scheme affects your business.

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