Power and Water is responsible for delivering safe drinking water throughout a majority of the Northern Territory.

Sophisticated monitoring and treatment processes ensure your drinking water meets high standards.

We treat drinking water to limit exposure to disease-causing microorganisms. This includes disinfecting the water with chlorine at many points from storage, to supply and to you.

As well as disinfecting your water, we may also add fluoride to meet Department of Health requirements.

See our Drinking Water Quality Policy Statement.

Your drinking water and COVID-19

There is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted by drinking water. The current evidence is that the COVID-19 virus is most likely transmitted from person-to-person by sneezing and coughing.

Drinking water in Australia is high quality and is well treated. There is no evidence that drinking water will be affected by coronavirus.

There is no need to buy bottled water for drinking. Safe, clean tap water will continue to be supplied directly to your home every day.

Water utilities have stringent hygiene measures in place at water treatment plants. In addition, there is almost no human contact in the process of treating water for drinking.

Existing water treatment and disinfection processes, including use of chlorine, are effective in removing viruses from water supplies.

Water utilities are in contact with key government agencies to monitor and understand the health impact of COVID-19 as it develops and are well-connected internationally to stay updated on the latest information and evidence.

If your business has been shut for more than two days, water in pipes will become stagnant and the quality will degrade.

We advise commercial customers, including camping ground or holiday park operators, to flush fresh water from the meter to onsite taps before using or drinking the water.

You can do this by running the taps for a few minutes. You can collect this water for irrigation or for use in the toilet. Flushing water this way helps to keep the water ready for drinking and other uses.

If you have any concerns about your water quality, please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances

Drinking water quality reports

Our Drinking Water Quality Reports are an open and transparent record of Power and Water’s service delivery across the Northern Territory, under the framework of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Power and Water adopts the multiple barrier approach in the framework to robustly control drinking water quality. These reports describe the approach used and the water quality results obtained.

Drinking water quality reports

Water treatment methods

The processes used to remove contaminants and improve and protect water quality are similar around the world.

Treatment methods used depend on the water quality issues.  Chlorine is the preferred disinfection treatment as it’s simple to use, destroys pathogens and provides protection throughout distribution.

The Department of Health provides a list of the harmful organisms we are trying to prevent.

Remote water treatment

A different mix of treatment processes apply in remote communities. These processes involve treating raw water before disinfection and distribution. Treatment methods include filtration and aeration.

Read more about remote water sources

The most widely applied water treatment is a combination of some or all of the following:

During coagulation, a chemical, usually alum, is added to help bacteria and small solid particles stick together. Larger particles then settle in-situ, which we can easily remove.

Mechanical settling basins called clarifiers use gravity to separate solid particles and remove colour.

Filtration removes particles as water passes through filters or membranes. The method varies between treatment plants:

  • gravity media filtration uses filters containing layers of sand

membrane filtration uses semi-permeable membranes with billions of microscopic pores.

Chlorine or ultraviolet light destroys disease-causing bacteria. Chlorine provides constant, effective protection from the treatment plant to the tap. This disinfection is especially useful in long pipelines and high water temperatures. We use chlorine for disinfection purposes in all drinking water supply systems. The amount of chlorine added is relative to the purity of the water and is typically less than one milligram per litre.

Fluoride naturally occurs in our water or, where possible is added in small amounts, less than one milligram per litre, to help prevent tooth decay. Fluoridation is recommended by the Department of Health.

Lime, caustic soda or soda ash is added to correct very soft natural water. The minerals in lime also help prevent household pipes and fittings from corroding.

Water sources

Major centres

CentreSurface waterGroundwater
Darwin River Reservoir

Howard East Borefield
Katherine River
Donkey Camp Weir
Tennant Creek 
Cabbage Gum / Kelly Well Borefields
Alice Springs 
Roe Creek Borefield

Minor centres

CentreSurface waterGroundwater
Adelaide River 
Cox Peninsula 
Daly Waters 
Gunn Point 
Kings Canyon 
Newcastle Waters 
Pine Creek 
Timber Creek 
Ti Tree