Consumer protection

Consumer protection image


Services provided by Councils or other water retailers

Some South Australians receive water and/or sewerage services from their local Council or a private operator other than SA Water.  Here is a complete list of all water retailers licensed by the Commission.

These water retailers provide smaller-scale water and/or sewerage services than SA Water, including:

  • drinking water for local communities;
  • sewerage services though Council operated Community Wastewater Management Schemes;
  • small recycled or reuse water schemes.

Our Water Retail Code – minor and intermediate retailers contains many of the same consumer protections afforded to SA Water’s customers:

Customer sale contracts

Retailers must obtain the Commission’s approval of a standard form contact for water and/or sewerage retail services.

Customer information obligations

Retailers must have a Customer Charter that informs customers of their basic rights and responsibilities; Enquiry, Complaint and Dispute Resolution Procedures (including escalation of complaints to an independent dispute resolution body); publicly provide pricing information and assist customers experiencing financial hardship in line with the Minister’s residential customer hardship policy.

Retailer supply obligations

Retailers must have policies and procedures for dealing with customer connections; minimising interruptions, dealing with bursts, leaks, blockages and spills; emergency reporting for customers and estimation procedures where a retailer seeks to recover monies owed for illegal use of water retail services.

Customer service obligations

Retailers must meet minimum customer billing requirements (including offering customers minimum payment methods and flexible payment arrangements) and must address billing disputes (including undercharging and overcharging) in a fair and reasonable way.

Restrictions, disconnections and restoration of supply

To protect broader public health concerns, retailers are prohibited from disconnecting a customers’ sewerage services as a result of non-payment of bills by a customer.  Retailers are able to restrict the flow of water services (to a prescribed minimum flow rate) rather than disconnecting a customer for non-payment of bills, but must have first given a customer all reasonable opportunities to enter into more flexible payment arrangements first.  Where a customer has had their water flow restricted, retailers are required to meet minimum timeframes to reinstate a customers’ water supply once the cause of the restriction has been rectified.

If you receive water or sewerage services from your local Council or a private operator other than SA Water, you should contact them in the first instance to discuss your issue.