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Food info - Carriers

Water carrier requirements


Water carriers delivering drinking water must apply for a mobile food business licence to comply with the Food Act 2006



  • Vehicle must not be used for any other purpose than domestic water distribution.
  • Carriers are required to be available for inspection by a Council officer at any time.
  • Carriers may only source treated drinking water from an approved potable water source, e.g. Council standpipe.
  • Adequate measures must be taken to prevent contamination of the source of supply, distribution tank and container into which the water is being transferred.
  • Water carriers are required to be licensed with only one Council, even if they are delivering water to multiple council areas.


Duty of carriers

  • Carriers must notify the Council of the district in which the business is registered, prior to undertaking the bulk cartage of drinking water.
  • The operator of the vehicle must be trained and be proficient in its operation.
  • Carriers must ensure that all persons involved in the bulk cartage of potable water are adequately trained.


Signage on tanks

The following information must be prominently displayed in signage:

  • trading name and phone number – not less than 75mm in height each
  • the licence number and tanker approval number – not less than 100mm in height each
  • sign - “DRINKING WATER ONLY” – not less than 150mm in height
  • mobile food vehicle licence number.


Hoses, pumps, fittings and water tank inner lining

  • Pump and related fittings (including hoses and pipes) are to be used only for drawing water for human consumption.
  • Delivery hoses must comply with relevant Australian Standards, such as 2070–1999 (Plastic materials for food contact use) or relevant international standard.
  • Hoses, fittings, pump and water tank must be kept leak-free in a clean and well-maintained condition externally and internally at all times.
  • Suitable storage areas for fittings and hoses must be provided on the tanker to prevent contamination; the delivery fittings attached to the delivery pump must be adequately capped and protected to prevent contamination of couplings and fittings.
  • Lining materials used within containers and fittings must comply with Australian Standard 4020-2005 (Testing of products for use in contact with drinking water).
  • Inner tank must be rust-free. If rust proofing is required, an approved rust-proof treatment suitable for drinking water must be used and applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Internal coating of mild steel for water distribution tanks must not be carried out until all welding has been completed and the interior surfaces of the tank have been thoroughly de-scaled and cleaned.
  • Queensland Water Resources Commission Technical Bulletin (TB19/1992) states that “coal tar-based products” are not recommended as internal coatings or linings for drinking water storages. Organic chemicals, leaching from these products, act as a food source for bacteria, consequently promoting bacterial regrowth.


Back flow prevention

Vehicles must be fitted with backflow prevention systems in accordance with Australian Standard 3500-2003 (Plumbing and drainage set). Back flow devices on tanks used solely for the bulk cartage of drinking water must conform to the medium hazard rating of Australian Standard/New Zealand Standard 3500.1-2003 (Plumbing and drainage - water services). The vessel must also display a back flow approval sticker from Council on the rear driver’s side of the vessel.



Sanitising of tank, fittings and hoses

Cleaning and sanitising, with a solution of 35ml of sodium hypochlorite (12.5% available chlorine) per 1000L of water, must be done on a regular basis. This dose rate must give a free residual chlorine level of not less than 1 part per million (ppm) after 30 minutes contact time. The solution must then be disposed of in an approved manner, and the tanks, hoses and fittings flushed with clean water.


Log books

Details required in a log book include:

  • place where water is obtained, the amount drawn and the metered standpipe readings
  • place and date where water is delivered and the amount at each location
  • printed name and signature of driver for each delivery
  • any treatment carried out to the tanker
  • any rejection of water.