Over the past few years the water authorities in Australia have been applying the principles of quality management and risk management in their provision of drinking water of a safe and acceptable quality. These principles have been taken up by the regulatory authorities, and the Australian water industry is ensuring that drinking water guidelines, customer contracts, licences and auditing (both statutory and quality systems auditing), and appropriate quality management systems, are in place for drinking water quality management. A particular focus of this work has been the application of AS/NZS 4360 (Risk Management) and the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points developed for the food industry. This paper discusses the important considerations in applying quality management systems to drinking water quality management within water authorities, and the key issues of how best to integrate these risk management systems with the business management systems of the water authority. A generally applicable model for drinking water quality management systems based on ISO 9002 and HACCP is described. The paper also discusses the process of how management systems already in place within a water authority can be assessed and improvements identified. The objective is that the management systems will be consistent with the authority’s existing business management systems, ISO 9001, the principles of HACCP and AS4360, and the expected requirements of the revised Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

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