Water Carrier Licence and Water Tanker Approval - Isaac Regional Council - Queensland


Water carriers supplying potable water must ensure that the water they provide for human consumption is of a suitable quality.

The purpose of this information notice is to ensure water cartage supplied by water carriers for domestic and commercial use meets all the necessary requirements of the Food Act 2006 (the Act) and is suitable for human consumption.

Section 12(1)(f) of the Food Act 2006 explains 'water that is carried in bulk in a vehicle and intended for human consumption, regardless of the source of the water is a food'.  Potable water carriers are therefore a mobile food business and licensable under the Act.  Water carrier businesses are required to obtain a medium risk food licence from Isaac Regional Council if they intend to operate in the Isaac region.

Detailed advice for water carriers can be found in the Queensland Government water carriers guide.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

Potable water carrier food business licensee roles and responsibility

Potable water carrier businesses must ensure their tanker design and fit-out is suitable for holding potable water. Carriers must then obtain a food business licence with the local government in an area where the food business will operate.
Potable water carrier businesses must ensure:

  • all food handlers working for the potable water carrier have appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety and food hygiene matters appropriate to their work activities.

  • there is a food safety supervisor continually in place for the food business.

  • all water distributed is fit for human consumption and complies with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 6 and/or the World Health Organisation - Guidelines for drinking water quality.

  • the water carrier is not used for any purpose other than to collect, transport and supply drinking water.

  • the council is notified of any change to the food business including change of tanker or registration number, prior to commencement of any changes.

  • the exterior surface of the domestic water carrying vehicle, pipelines, fittings and other equipment is kept in a clean condition at all times and not cause contamination of the water.

  • all pipes and hoses are to be capped so as to prevent the contamination of couplings and hose interiors when hoses are not in use and laid flat and secured in a dust proof container during transportation.

  • a dispersal plate should be attached to the end of the delivery hose to assist in not causing undue agitation of sediment on the floor of the tank receiving the water.

  • water carrier food businesses must clean and sanitise their tanks, hoses and any other equipment that comes into contact with drinking water.  This needs to be carried out at least every three months so as to ensure that the drinking water provided is safe.

  • the words 'Drinking water only' are prominently displayed on the side and rear of the tank in letters at least 150mm in height and in a contrasting colour to background.

  • the interior of the water tank is maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, free from rust and other foreign matter.

  • the trading name and telephone number of the water carrier is also prominently displayed on the tank in letters not less that 75mm in height to enable easy identification of licensed mobile premises.

A log book for must be kept for every tanker and should include:

 - details of the date, destination and volume of bulk potable water delivered

 - chemical treatment test results for each load of potable water delivered (free available chlorine)

 - the date of cleaning and inspection of tanks and fittings

 - how cleaning and sanitising water was disposed.

Ongoing eligibility requirements

Isaac Regional Council regulation and responsibilities

Isaac Regional Council will ensure the water carrier businesses:

  • have an appropriately processed food licence application, including conditions of licence added specifically regarding water carrier obligations.

  • display food licence details as specified in the Food Regulation 2016 Part 2 Section 4.

  • are adequately monitored to ensure that they continually comply with their legal obligations.

  • have correct procedures and control measures in place to ensure that health obligations are maintained and water is protected from contamination.

  • display a backflow approval sticker on the vehicle in accordance with council requirements.

  • tankers, including hoses and any other equipment that comes in contact with water, are appropriately cleaned and sanitised at least every three months.

  • containers and fittings are only used to convey potable water.

  • have an up to date log kept in all vehicles.

  • the words 'Drinking Water Only' are prominently displayed on the side and rear of the water tank in letters at least 150mm in height and in a contrasting colour to the background.

The council is also responsible for:

  • investigating complaints against water carriers.

  • inspecting tankers and equipment to ensure health standards are upheld for the safe collection, transportation and supply of potable water.

Application process

Contact council for more information on the current application process and relevant form.

Additional information

Design and fit-out to ensure suitability of potable water carrier

Section 58 of the Food Act 2006 suitability of premise explains outlines how food premises (tanker vehicle/s) are suitable for carrying on a licensable food business. The council assesses whether the premises (tanker vehicle/s) comply with the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 3.2.3 (the Code). In accordance with the Code, an appropriate document from the manufacturer/s stating the tanker, hoses and other equipment is suitable and safe for contact with potable water should be supplied to council.

  • Australian/New Zealand Standard 4020:2005 The testing of products for use in contact with drinking water (used for the lining materials within containers and fittings) and/or

  • Australian Standard 2070:1999 Plastics materials for food contact use or a relevant international standard such as the US Code of Federal Regulations 21 CFR Parts 170 to 199 or EC Directives. Delivery hoses and other hoses must be formed from non-toxic materials, suitable and safe for contact with potable water.

  • Australian Technical Standard 5200.026: 2004 Technical Specification for Plumbing and Drainage Products, Cold Water Storage Products.

  • Australian/New Zealand Standard 4766:2006 Polyethylene storage tanks for water and chemicals.

  • Australian Standard AS3500: National Plumbing and Drainage Code.  Water carriers must be fitted with appropriate backflow prevention systems.

  • Australian Standards 3500.1-2003, Plumbing and Drainage, Part 1: Water Services.  Back flow devices on tanks used for the bulk cartage of potable water

The tank must be able to be fully drained and have a sufficient opening for inspection and cleaning of the contact surfaces.

Administering agency

Isaac Regional Council

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:

Isaac Regional Council

Operating address: Grosvenor Complex
Batchelor Parade
Moranbah, Queensland, 4744
Mailing address: PO BOX 97
Moranbah, Queensland 4744
Phone: 1300 472 227
Fax: 07 4941 8666
Email: records@isaac.qld.gov.au
Website: Isaac Regional Council (Opens in new window)