Woman Drinking Water

Is Perth Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Have you ever thought that your Perth tap water tastes funny? Or perhaps your tap water has been looking a little cloudy. You might even be wondering if it is safe to drink tap water in Perth, Western Australia.

How does Perth drinking water compare? Does it meet drinking water guidelines? Or are you better off ditching Perth’s water supply and drinking bottled water instead?

Metropolitan Plumbing has your expert plumbers in Perth. We’re going to run you through everything you need to know about Perth drinking water so you can keep your and your family safe.

Why Does Water Have a Taste?

Perth sources most of its drinking water from groundwater or a desalination plant. It travels from the source to a treatment plant and finally to your tap. Along the way, it picks up a variety of things that give your water a distinct taste. There are an array of factors that affect how your water tastes, and it can even change over time and across different locations. You will find minerals, salts, metals and a whole host of other materials in your water. These are the total dissolved solids (TDS).

Studies have shown which specific TDS components make water taste the best. Highly rated water had relatively high concentrations of bicarbonate, sulphate, calcium and magnesium ions along with a higher pH. Poorly rated tap water, however, had higher concentrations of sodium, potassium and chloride ions. Other studies have shown that water activates the sour taste receptor cells on your tongue.

Before your water supplier delivers water to your home, it undergoes treatment. This can affect its taste as well. Treatment plants add chlorine as a disinfectant. This is especially important when water is being transported over long distances and the temperature varies. Warmer temperatures would allow the growth of harmful organisms if this disinfectant is not used.

Water is also fluoridated to improve dental health. The Department of Health directs the addition of fluoride to our water, and the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1966 regulates it.

How is Perth Tap Water Quality Checked?

perth desalination water supply with city skyline

There are multiple government bodies involved in monitoring water quality across Western Australia and Australia in general. Simply put, the Advisory Committee for the Purity of Water has been monitoring Western Australia water quality for nearly a century now.

There are tests on water samples across Perth and regions of WA in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Moreover, there are annual reports published with recommendations for continuous improvements to water quality. Water quality tests use a set of health and aesthetic criteria to ensure it is of acceptable quality.

Is Perth Tap Water Safe?

Generally speaking, yes, you won’t have a problem drinking tap water in the Western Australia capital. Water Corporation’s 2018-2019 report showed that every region in Perth that supplied a sample met the health-related Guideline requirements which tested for:

  • Microorganisms such as E. coli and thermophilic Naegleria
  • Fluoride
  • Hydrocarbons – petroleum oil
  • Metals e.g.: heavy metals
  • Nitrates
  • Pesticides
  • Radiological
  • Trihalomethanes
  • And other general health-related concerns

Furthermore, the Perth, Western Australia, region also met nearly all the aesthetic guideline requirements. While not health-related aesthetics refer to the taste, odour, colour, turbidity, salinity, hardness and temperature of your drinking water. These tests assessed:

  • Alkalinity – calcium carbonate
  • pH
  • Water hardness
  • Aluminium
  • Chloride
  • Iron
  • Silicon
  • Sodium
  • Manganese
  • TDS
  • True colour
  • Turbidity

Only two regions did not meet the hard water criteria, as the water supply for these areas is characteristically hard. Thankfully, hard water does not pose a risk to your health by any means. It can leave scum marks on your washed dishes, however, and makes it more difficult for soap to foam up. Additionally, it can cause a build-up in your plumbing fixtures and pipes.

Sodium in Perth Water

There is one aesthetic quality that concerns a group of people, however – sodium. Guidelines suggest that salinity should not exceed 500 mg/L. These guidelines often use TDS to measure salinity. Some districts in Perth have the highest salinity water in Australia, so much so that the water can taste salty!

Sodium is one of two elements in the chemical structure of salt. 20 mg/L of sodium per litre of water is the maximum recommended amount for those on a low sodium diet. The average sodium concentration in Perth districts ranged from 23 mg/L all the way up to 133 mg/L in the 2018-2019 report by Water Corporation. That’s more than 6 times the recommended limit in your drinking water!

While this is clearly a problem for those who must stick to a low sodium diet, Australians overconsume salt and most of this comes from processed food. For those in a high sodium water area, your water might play a bigger part than you anticipated.

While you can’t control the quality of your water supplies, you have some control over the quality of your drinking water. No one wants to be drinking bottled water forever, so if water quality is a concern to you, contact Metropolitan Plumbing. Whether you need a plumber to install a water softener or a filter, we can help improve your water quality in Western Australia.

Want to know how your city’s tap water stands up against the rest? Find out in our articles about the quality of tap water in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Published: 7 Sep, 2020

Need a Plumber Today?

Electrical, plumbing and air conditioning work is essential and we will be available to do the jobs you require in your home. Our friendly technicians are taking all precautionary measures and keeping to best hygiene practices.

Plumbers You Can Trust

Our Promise to You

Honest Plumbing Services Icon


We believe in transparency. We will guide you through our process, answer your questions and provide you with an upfront, no obligation fixed prices.

Committed to Plumbing Service Excellence Icon


No matter how big or small the job is, whether you're a new or returning customer, we treat every job as important and strive for success.

Professional Expert Plumbers Icon


We know our job site is your home and we completely respect that. We arrive neat and clean, and tidy up after we've completed the job.

zip pay Options
Zip Pay Payment Options Image

Now Available!

Interest free plumbing with trusted pay later options

What Our Happy Customers Have to Say

This is why we do, what we do!

Metropolitan Plumbing are proud winners of the 2020 Product Review award in the plumbing category. This award highlights our dedication to outstanding customer satisfaction. Product Review provides a platform for real-life experiences. Check out some of our customers' reviews below:
5 stars rating

Thank you to Matty and Peter C for their expert help and advice with a new hot water service. Matty is a superb plumber with a can-do attitude and great knowledge. Peter is efficient and knowledgeable. Both plumbers worked quietly and efficiently and tidied up afterwards.

Prudence - VIC
5 stars rating

I rang Metropolitan to have a blocked drain cleared, they sent a local lad, Caleb. The response was within two hours and now I’ll be using Caleb and Metropolitan on a permanent basis.

Peter - SA
5 stars rating

Callum showed up on time, was very communicative, solved the issue with no hassle. Polite and courteous. Quality young tradesman. Would definitely have him back to fix any issues in the future.

Kye - QLD
  • Wilson Hot Water Logo

    Wilson is an Australian owned and operated hot water system supplier with products to suit any need. Rest assured our technicians can install and service your Wilson hot water system.

  • Vulcan Hot Water Logo

    Vulcan hot water systems are forged tough so that they can handle Australia's changeable climate without missing a beat.

  • Thermann Hot Water Logo

    Thermann is one of the most efficient water heating systems around, with a range of options from solar boosted to heat pumps. We can install, service and repair your Thermann system.

  • Saxon Hot Water Logo

    Unfortunately, Saxon no longer produces heating units, but Metropolitan can still service, repair or replace your old Saxon system.

  • Stiebel Eltron Hot Water Logo

    Stiebel Eltron was established in Germany, 1924. With over 95 years of experience in making hot water units, you can expect quality.

  • Rinnai Hot Water Logo

    Rinnai is one of the biggest names in hot water systems. Metropolitan Plumbing has worked with Rinnai hot water systems for over 25 years.

  • Rheem Hot Water Logo

    Rheem has been going steady, hot and strong since 1939 with a comprehensive range of solar, heat pump and gas hot water solutions.

  • Everhot Hot Water Logo

    No matter how big or small your requirements are, Everhot has the right system. We at Metropolitan can help install or service your Everhot system.

  • Edwards Hot Water Logo

    Edwards is recognised for its superior performance and outstanding range of ground and roof mounted units offered in a range of colours.

  • Dux Hot Water Logo

    Dux is the big name in residential and commercial solar, heat pump and gas water heating. We can service and repair your Dux hot water system.

  • Chromagen Hot Water Logo

    Chromagen is an internationally recognised manufacturer of highly efficient hot water systems.  Metropolitan can service, replace or repair your Chromagen system.

  • Bosch Hot Water Logo

    Bosch provides quality hot water to thousands of Australians with its wide range of solar, gas and electric units.

  • AquaMAX Hot Water Logo

    AquaMax is the household name in hot water. We can take care of all of your Aqua Max needs from installation to repair.

Metropolitan Plumbing - With over 600+ 5 Star reviews on Product Review, Metropolitan Plumbing is the name you can trust Metropolitan Plumbing - With over 600+ 5 Star reviews on Product Review, Metropolitan Plumbing is the name you can trust