Operating Licence

Hunter Water delivers services under an Operating Licence granted by the NSW Government. The Licence protects consumers by prescribing minimum standards of service that Hunter Water must meet in relation to:

  • drinking water quality - supplying customers with safe drinking water
  • water continuity - providing customers with a reliable supply of water
  • water pressure - providing customers with water at acceptable pressure for everyday use
  • wastewater transport - providing the reliable transport of sewage.

The Operating Licence sets out conditions relating to:

  • community consultation
  • customer and consumer rights
  • customer complaint and dispute handling
  • managing water demand
  • environmental management
  • quality assurance
  • asset management, and
  • performance monitoring and auditing.

Hunter Water's current Operating Licence came into operation on 1 July 2012. This licence was issued after a comprehensive public review of the previous licence, which was in force from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2012. The review was carried out by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). View a copy of the review report on IPART's website.

Each year, an independent audit of Hunter Water's operations is conducted to assess our compliance with the Operating Licence. The audit assesses our performance in meeting the service standards and other conditions of the licence.

IPART is also responsible for the annual operational audit and periodic reviews of our Operating Licence. 


Wastewater Systems

The Office Environment and Heritage (OEH)  issues licences under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 for Hunter Water's wastewater pipe network, pumping stations and treatment systems.

The licences stipulate both quality and quantity conditions for discharge from each wastewater treatment works and are reviewed every three years under the legislation.

The licences also specify operational controls and performance reporting for the wastewater pipe network and pumping stations.


Access to Water

Hunter Water extracts water from the Williams, Paterson and Allyn Rivers as well as groundwater sources under stringent conditions set out in licences issued by the NSW Office of Water (NOW) under the Water Act 1912 and Water Management Act 2000. NOW can direct Hunter Water to carry out remedial work should water extraction activities be determined by NOW to have caused any adverse environmental impacts. Penalties of up to $500,000 can be imposed for failing to comply with remedial directions or licence conditions.

Governing legislation

  • State Owned Corporations Act 1989
  • Hunter Water Act 1991

Principal regulatory controls

Obligation to customers

Obligation to shareholders

  • Statement of Corporate Intent

Operational management