How we're responding to COVID-19
As with water utilities across the world, we have a range of measures in place to manage the impacts of COVID-19, ensuring we can continue to provide safe and reliable water and sewerage services to our customers, and to protect the health of our people and the communities we interact with.
We are here if you need us, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Please be aware the Customer Service desk on the ground floor of our Adelaide CBD headquarters is temporarily closed, so in the meantime, we encourage you to call, email or visit our website and use an online form or the webchat function.
Support for customers
We understand that many of our customers are experiencing financial pressures due to the impacts of COVID-19. If you find yourself having difficulty paying your bill, please contact us as early as possible so we can help. You can call us on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283) to request a payment extension of up to 28 days, through our automated phone service or talk to one of our people about a payment arrangement.
Our Customer Assistance Program aims to provide assistance as early as possible, and our focus is to help customers arrange ways to pay overdue accounts and new bills. Earlier this year, the program was expanded to include small, medium and large business customers - in additional to residential customers.
The South Australian Government provides a range of concessions to people on low incomes, so check the concessions website or call the Concessions SA Hotline on 1800 307 758, to see if you are eligible for this assistance.
Drinking water supply
Your tap water remains safe to drink. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted by drinking water. Our existing water treatment and disinfection processes using chlorine and chloramine are effective in deactivating viruses in water supplies.
We are also well prepared to ensure the ongoing safety and reliability of water supply. Our water treatment plants are secure, have back up power supplies and require few staff to operate them, with some operated remotely.
Temporary water supply disruptions
Our Community Support team help customers across metropolitan Adelaide affected by water main breaks and leaks by providing temporary supplies of drinking water to all customers experiencing an unplanned water outage of more than four hours, organising any clean-up required and providing information about the progress of repair work.
In regional parts of the state, when an extended water outage is necessary, our local depot teams can organise temporary tankers to connect to the mains network, to ensure continued supply for sites like hospitals and schools and have a stock of cask water to provide residential customers, if required.
Wastewater and recycled water
There is no evidence the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via wastewater systems. Our wastewater and recycled water systems have similar disinfection processes to water treatment, including chlorination and ultraviolet (UV), which are proven to be effective at deactivating viruses.
Sludge treatment processes to produce biosolids (organic matter used to improve soils and some crops) are also considered safe.
Additionally, our wastewater treatment and network operators already implement strict hygiene practices and will continue to do so.
COVID-19 wastewater testing
Working together with SA Health, our expert scientists are playing a pivotal role in South Australia's fight against COVID-19, through an ongoing program monitoring for traces of the virus in the state's wastewater.
Supplementing the state’s existing patient testing regime with our sewage surveillance provides a non-invasive mechanism to build a wider snapshot of the virus’ transmission within the community, helping our public health officers better understand the spread and identify areas where it may be emerging.
For more information, see our October 2020 media release.
More information on drinking water quality, sewerage services and the operation of water and sewer infrastructure can be found in the Water Services Association of Australia’s (WSAA) COVID-19 fact sheet. Water Research Australia have also developed a fact sheet on water and sanitation.
For information on COVID-19, visit sa.gov.au or contact the South Australian COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.
Please continue to follow the advice of health authorities and stay safe.
Reporting a fault
If you have an urgent network fault to report, please call us on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283). Non-urgent network faults can be reported online here.
SA Water site tours
Based on advice from health authorities to cancel or limit participation in large public gatherings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, all community, school and technical tours of our operational sites have been cancelled for now.