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If you live in or visit Perth, you might wonder whether tap water is safe to drink. It's crucial to find out whether the water is safe for human consumption to avoid potential health complications from drinking contaminated water.

This involves understanding how tap water in Perth compares with other areas in the country. Doing so will help you discover whether to avoid drinking it altogether and go for bottled water. This article looks at different aspects of tap water in Perth to help you determine if it's safe to drink.

Where Does Tap Water in Perth Come From?

Tap water in Perth is supplied under the Integrated Water Supply Scheme, which is the Water Corporation's largest supply scheme. The scheme provides water to the Perth area accessed from various sources. These include surface water dams that store water from groundwater, regular run-off water from streams, and desalinated water.

With all these water sources, the people in Perth are assured of water access regardless of weather conditions. Perth still relies heavily on groundwater as its primary water supply, but with reduced rains, additional groundwater sources are required to satisfy the water needs of the residents.

What Affects the Taste of Tap Water in Perth?

Tap water tastes different from bottled water in Australia. It's important to understand that several factors affect the taste of your Perth tap water. Additionally, the taste could change with time and across different areas in Perth.

When moving to the treatment plant, the water collects several things that give your water that distinct taste. Tap water in Perth contains metals, salts, minerals, and other materials, also referred to as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). The materials mentioned above give your Perth tap water its taste.

Depending on the elements collected, you could receive high-rated or poorly-rated water. High-rated or good-quality tap water contains a high concentration of sulphate, magnesium ions, bicarbonate, and calcium. It also has higher pH levels. On the other hand, poorly-rated or poor-quality tap water contains a higher concentration of potassium, sodium, and chloride ions.

Perth Water Treatment

Before tap water in Perth is delivered to your home or business, it is first treated. As mentioned before, the water treatment process affects its taste. The Water Corporation in Western Australia has a treatment process that makes tap water in Perth safe. Some of the steps taken to make tap water safe for consumption include fluoridation, disinfection, safe storage, and ongoing disinfection.

Depending on the source of your tap water, the water is treated through ultrafiltration, electrodialysis, and desalination. All these methods are carried out within the safest levels for consumption. Consequently, you don't need to worry about excess fluoride or chlorine that could affect your health.

Elements added to treat Perth tap water

Now that you know that tap water in Perth is safe for drinking, it is also essential to dive into the elements added during the treatment process to make it safe. The ingredients added include:


Tap water in Perth contains chlorine, a disinfectant added to provide effective and lasting water protection as it moves from the treatment plant to your tap. The disinfectant is especially effective where high water temperatures and long pipelines increase the risks of the growth of harmful organisms in your water.


As per the Department of Health drinking water guidelines, fluoride is added to your water to boost dental health.

Perth Water Quality Checking

The Water Corporation in Perth undertakes extensive water testing to ensure that your tap water in Perth is safe and meets the quality standards set. To do this, the corporation has a stringent monitoring and incident management system to identify and correct issues immediately as they occur. The corporation also provides annual reports available to the public for accountability. Therefore, you could also check your water quality through its website.

What is checked during the water quality checking process?

Water quality checking ensures that tap water supplied is safe to drink and use for other purposes in your home or business. Here are some of the things checked during the process.

Water hardness

The hardness of water to be supplied to taps is monitored during the water quality checking process. Water hardness refers to the concentration of minerals in your tap water. Water with a high concentration of minerals is considered hard, while that with a low concentration of minerals is referred to as soft.

Water hardness is measured in terms of milligrams per litre. Tap water in Perth is categorised as good quality because its hardness ranges from around 60-200 mg/L.

Ideally, hard water is safe for your health; however, it has several disadvantages, which include the following:

  • The water leaves a white solid residue on your tap that requires cleaning products to clean
  • Soap doesn't lather up easily in hard water, making it difficult to shower and wash dishes
  • The water leaves limescale residue and watermarks on the dishes
  • Hard water may have an unpleasant taste

Tip: You could use a water softener to counteract the effects of hard water running from your taps.

Sodium levels

As mentioned, there are several elements contained in tap water, including sodium. Therefore, the sodium levels of tap water in Perth are also checked for quality assurance. According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, water salinity should not exceed 500 mg/L.

These guidelines apply the Total Dissolved Solids to measure the water salinity. Some areas in Perth have water with higher salinity levels than others, meaning that some areas have water that tastes saltier than others. If the levels exceed this standard, the water is considered unsafe for consumption.

Is Perth Tap Water Safe to Drink?

With the stringent quality checking that water goes through, you can be sure that Perth tap water is safe for drinking. Since it meets the water health requirements the Department of Health laid out, it qualifies as good-quality tap water. Therefore, you should never be worried about potential side effects on your health.

To verify the safety of the tap water and assess the aesthetic quality of the water, the Water Corporation performs a thorough water quality monitoring program. The corporation also adheres to the set guidelines in the Water Source Protection Policy or Drinking Water Quality Policy.

This shows its commitment to supplying safe tap water to its customers in Perth and protecting the water catchment areas. Additionally, the Water Corporation has internal standards reflecting all the Department of Health (DOH) requirements and the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

The Water Corporation has a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Health as it is responsible for regulating the quality of drinking water in Australia. The memorandum allows the DOH to audit the water quality and management and has a reporting system to ensure that the water supplied for drinking is safe.

Steps to Make Perth Tap Water Safe for Drinking

If you still want to take further steps to make your tap water safe for consumption, here are some things you could do:


One of the most effective methods to make tap water safe for consumption is boiling. If you find your Perth tap water cloudy and suspect there's residue, you should let it sit for a while for any residue present to settle to the bottom. Then, get the water above the residue through decanting, and boil it.

Alternatively, you could filter out the residue using a paper towel, clean cloth, or coffee filters before boiling it. Once it's boiled, you could store it in tightly covered, clean, sanitised containers to keep germs away.

Disinfect the water

Adding unscented household chlorine bleach or iodine could also guarantee that your Perth tap water is safe for drinking. The two disinfectants effectively kill most harmful bacteria and viruses in tap water. When using the bleach, go through the label carefully for guidelines on the right concentration to add.


In addition, you could also filter your tap water with a paper towel, clean cloth, or water filter and make it settle to draw the clean water. Make sure that the pores of the filter are small enough to get rid of parasites and bacteria. After you filter the water, add disinfectants like chlorine, iodine, or chlorine dioxide to the water to kill the remaining bacteria and viruses.

Concerned About the Safety of Perth Tap Water?

You might still be concerned about the safety of your tap water in Perth because of its colour or taste. In this instance, the best option is to call a professional plumber near you for more advice about the quality of your water.

An expert plumber can check your tap water and determine if your water piping system has any issues contributing to its taste or colour change. They will inspect the pipes and taps, check if it is rusty or has any issues affecting your water quality, and offer long-lasting and reliable solutions.

Plumbing Services in Perth

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