The Infrastructure section of the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) monitors and regulates the safety, compliance and technical standards of South Australia’s electricity, gas and water infrastructure.

This covers:

  • electricity generation, transmission, and distribution
  • gas distribution
  • water and sewerage infrastructure.

This page is aimed at organisations and individuals that work in the electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries, and specifically those who work with infrastructure. Here you can find information on compliance, reporting, approvals, audits, standards as well as contacting OTR’s Infrastructure section.

If you’re looking for technical regulation for trade installations, visit our electrical trades, gas trades or plumbing trades pages.

Expand each of the topic headings below for further information.

General information

SRMTMPs are documents that must be prepared by electricity, gas, and water entities by law.

An SRMTMP includes work, health and safety (WHS) issues and issues relating to technical standards, operation, maintenance and emergency procedures and management practices with the intention of continuing review and improvement.

An SRMTMP describes how an entity will comply with the requirements of legislation as well as relevant standards and codes. These form the technical framework for ensuring high levels of safety and reliability in the operation of the electricity, gas and water industry entities. It provides a mechanism to compare safety and reliability expectations with actual performance. It also provides an auditable quality approach to each industry's safety.

An SRMTMP is a confidential document and is not available to the public.

Detailed guide documents

For a more detailed guide to preparing an SRMTMP:

Who needs to prepare an SRMTMP

The Electricity Act 1996Gas Act 1997 and Water Industry Act 2012 require all industry entities to prepare and periodically revise an SRMTMP at the request of the OTR and/or the Essential Services Commission of SA.

Some non-licensed entities may also be required by the OTR to prepare and periodically revise an SRMTMP.

Approvals

SRMTMPs and any revision to them are approved by the relevant authority. The OTR may make recommendations and comments to assist the entity in refining the plan before approval is granted.

Complying with an SRMTMP

All entities are required to comply with their approved SRMTMP and conduct annual audits to ensure compliance with the plan. The results of these audits must be reported to the OTR.

The OTR may also independently audit the entities to confirm compliance with the SRMTMP and may make comments and recommendations to assist entities refining future audit reports.

Entity annual reporting to the OTR

Reporting requirements vary depending on the industry.

Generally, the report contains information on:

  • unsafe, failed or malfunctioned infrastructure and the action(s) taken to rectify, prevent or minimise the risk of recurrence
  • compliance with the safety, reliability, maintenance and technical management plan and whether the plan has been operating effectively.

For further information on entity annual reporting specific to your industry, please contact the OTR Infrastructure section.

Guide to preparing an SRMTMP

SRMPTMPS vary with the type of infrastructure covered by the plan. The below is not an exhaustive list but is rather intended as a guide.

Contents

An SRMTMP should make particular reference to the technical and safety standards used. These standards should be consistent with the requirements of the OTR as set out in legislation.

The SRMTMP should include policies for:

  • protection of personnel
  • protection of property
  • protection of the public
  • technical standards compliance.

The SRMTMP should also cover the life cycle of all elements of the technical infrastructure, including:

  • planning
  • design
  • acquisition (construction, testing and commissioning)
  • operation
  • maintenance
  • repair and modification
  • decommissioning and disposal.

The SRMTMP should include evidence that appropriate systems have been established to ensure the SRMTMP is implemented. It should also address:

  • the organisational structure and defined responsibilities
  • competencies of persons appropriate to their responsibilities
  • auditing of activities (key performance indicators)
  • records and traceability
  • any special notes.

Competencies of personnel

Design, construction, testing, commissioning and operation of infrastructure must be carried out by persons who are qualified or experienced in the work they do.

For construction, testing and commissioning, a relevant national competency standards certificate or other demonstration of competency that meets the operator's requirements would be sufficient proof of qualification.

The asset operator must ensure all persons have competencies appropriate to their responsibilities and sound knowledge of relevant standards and their application.

Records and traceability

Records must be kept and maintained to show the effective management of all significant risks throughout the operating life of the assets.

Records include (but are not limited to):

  • design, construction, testing, commissioning and operation details sufficient to show compliance with relevant standards
  • as-built details, verification of calibrations of equipment, readings taken during testing, results of testing on test pieces, competencies and all relevant information
  • details of all relevant operational activities necessary to ensure gas safety
  • details of all modifications to infrastructure
  • up-to-date location details of buried assets with sufficient accuracy to guide the owner and others engaged in underground work
  • details of decommissioned assets that may pose safety risks in the future to provide information to anyone needing the information for safety reasons.

Electricity infrastructure

Electrical generator planning approval

To obtain development approval, all proposals for new South Australian-based electricity generators with more than five megawatts of generating capacity must meet several technical requirements that relate to the state's energy system security and stability.

Development applications must be accompanied by a certificate from the OTR that confirms the proposed generator complies with the necessary requirements of the Development Regulations 2008The Development (Electricity Generators) Variation Regulations 2017 were published in the Government Gazette, No. 33 Tuesday 23 May 2017, from page 1727.

Development applications are determined by the Development Assessment Commission or, where a state agency is undertaking or endorsing the development, the Minister for Planning.

Electricity (Principles of Vegetation Clearance) Regulations 2021

The Electricity (Principles of Vegetation Clearance) Regulations 2021 define the legal requirements for vegetation clearance around powerlines. This includes requirements for clearing vegetation around high-voltage transmission lines and lower-voltage distribution lines as well as legal safety limitations for planting trees near power lines.

The regulations aim to minimise the risk of bushfires, damage to power lines and electrical shocks without imposing excessive vegetation clearance.

More information can be found on the past consultation webpage

Water and sewerage infrastructure

Acts and regulations

The Water Industry Act 2012 provides a legislative framework to ensure that South Australian consumers have safe and reliable water and sewerage services and installations. The Act helps plan water supply and demand, and provides guidance for the water industry through:

  • licensing
  • price regulation
  • regulating customer service standards
  • informing technical standards for water and sewerage infrastructure, installations, and plumbing
  • performance monitoring of the water industry
  • other measures relevant to using and managing water.

The OTR is appointed by the Minister under the Water Industry Act 2012 to:

  • develop technical standards for the water industry
  • monitor and regulate technical standards for water and sewerage installations
  • provide safety and technical advice to water entities, ESCOSA, and the plumbing industry
  • fulfil any other assigned function under the Act.

The Water Industry Regulations 2012 under the Water Industry Act 2012 further defines licensing, technical, and safety requirements, for water industry entities. The regulations also address the protection and use of water and sewerage infrastructure and equipment, and water conservation measures.

Section 21 of the regulations also outline key criteria for Safety, Reliability, Maintenance, and Technical Management Plans (SRMTMPs) for water industry entities.

Installation trades acts, regulations, and standards

For the acts, regulations, and standards that apply to each specific installation trade, please visit the individual OTR Electrical trades, gas trades and plumbing trades pages.

Online enquiry

Fill out the online enquiry form to receive a call or email back from the OTR Infrastructure team.

Phone

Infrastructure - general enquiries

  • 8226 5500 (Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm)

Post

Office of the Technical Regulator
Infrastructure
GPO Box 320
Adelaide SA 5001

Water and sewerage infrastructure

The OTR publishes technical standards for the water and sewerage infrastructure as defined by the Water Industry Act 2012. This includes but isn’t limited to design, installation, inspection, alteration, repair, maintenance, removal, disconnection, or decommissioning.

Infrastructure standard

A published Infrastructure Standard that adopts the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) codes is available from the OTR. The WSAA codes complement standards, codes, and guidelines in current legislation.

By formalising the WSAA codes as the Infrastructure Standard, the OTR recognises that the WSAA codes have gone through peer-review processes and are widely accepted for the requirements of water and sewerage infrastructure.

The OTR aims to see all water industry entity assets and operations comply with WSAA requirements. However, the intent for is not for legacy assets to be updated; but for WSAA codes, supplementary notices, and supporting documents, that are equivalent to or exceed WSAA requirements, be used in the future.

  • Copies of the WSAA codes are available for viewing if you contact the OTR Water Infrastructure section, or from the WSAA shop.
  • The SA Water technical standards and guidelines can be viewed at the SA Water website.

Standard for Dual Reticulation Infrastructure

The OTR has published the Standard for Dual Reticulation Infrastructure (PDF, 266.6 KB). It details the minimum requirements and responsibilities of all parties involved in dual reticulation infrastructure to ensure the safety and reliability of the water services provided to South Australian consumers.

The Standard has been published after extensive consultation with stakeholders from the South Australian water industry.

The intent is not for legacy assets to be updated, but that going forward, the design, installation and construction of dual reticulation infrastructure including - up to the point of connection to a property - will be in accordance with the Standard.

This Standard is in addition to requirements set out in the WSAA codes.

Quick facts

  • When did the Standard come into effect?

As of 1 July 2021 full compliance with the standard is expected.

  • Is the Standard retrospective?

No, the Standard applies only to new dual reticulation infrastructure. However, replacement of existing infrastructure is expected to comply with the Standard.

  • Why did the Technical Regulator decide to publish the Standard?

Numerous cross-connections incidents have occurred in recent years resulting in consumers being supplied non-drinking water instead of drinking water. Following one incident, a report was prepared by a consultant recommending that the Technical Regulator develop a Standard to normalise practices within the industry for dual reticulation infrastructure.

  • Does the Standard apply to parks and reserves as well?

Yes, the Standard applies to any property, whether a building or an area of land, that is supplied by both drinking and non-drinking water.

  • Will this Standard be incorporated in the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) codes?

The Technical Regulator has no objection in the Standard being part of the WSAA codes, however, it is outside the Technical Regulator’s authority to rule the WSAA to adopt the Standard.

  • The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) test described is in relation to work undertaken on services connected to the property. What about work carried out within the property by licensed plumbers?

The Standard applies to the Infrastructure side only, separate requirements are in place for all plumbing work.

  • Can you clarify the definitions of non-drinking water and recycled water?

We recognise that there are multiple definitions for non-drinking water.

The Standard defines non-drinking water as derived primarily from sewage, greywater or stormwater systems and treated to a standard that is appropriate for its intended use.

The Water Supply Code of Australia defines non-drinking water as “any water other than drinking water including wastewater, stormwater, bore water, groundwater, lake or river water, which has been treated to meet a Standard (as defined by the Regulator), and which is satisfactory for its intended use(s)”.

The National Construction Code Volume Three (Plumbing Code of Australia) defines non-drinking water as “Water which is not intended primarily for human consumption”.

SA Health defines recycled water as any water generated from the following and treated to a standard that is appropriate for its intended use:

  • sewage
  • greywater
  • stormwater
  • rainwater
  • industrial
  • animal processes.

The intention of the Standard is to capture scenarios where there is the dual supply of drinking water and non-drinking water to prevent cross connections.

  • What is the scope of application for the Guidelines for Non-drinking Water in South Australia and the Standard for Dual Reticulation Infrastructure? 

The scope of the Guidelines for Non-drinking Water in South Australia includes water infrastructure, plumbing, urban irrigation (e.g., parks, gardens, playgrounds, and BBQ areas) and non-building sites except where drinking water is not reticulated.

The scope of the Standard covers requirements for the safe design, installation and construction of dual reticulation infrastructure including up to the point of connection to a property. This Standard is in addition to requirements set out in the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) codes.

  • Is the Standard for Dual Reticulation Infrastructure published in April 2020 intended for connections to properties only?

The Standard applies to any property, whether a building or an area of land, that is supplied by both drinking and non-drinking water.

  • Is it necessary to use purple-coloured fittings and valves (i.e., ductile iron fittings and valves) for non-drinking water plumbing and infrastructure?

On-site Plumbing requirements are as per the Plumbing Code of Australia.

Infrastructure requirements are as per The Standard for Dual Reticulation Infrastructure which requires a permanent purple colour for the non-drinking water assembly and associated fittings. For other non-drinking infrastructure Table 4.1 of WSA 03-2011 3.1 applies which requires purple coating for a valve (spindle cap), but not for a fitting e.g., bend, coupling or for a valve (body).

  • What is acceptable for marking and identification of non-drinking water pipelines where solid permanent purple colour is not feasible?

On-site Plumbing requirements for the correct colour of non-drinking water pipes are as per the Plumbing Code of Australia (DTS AS/NZS 3500.1 Purple coloured pipework), where pipework is not coloured purple it must be identified by purple coloured sleeving, netted, or spirally wrapped tape, fittings are not required to be purple. The Non-drinking water guidelines require water meter inlets/outlets and meter assemblies to be purple, the PLV valve on non-drinking water service should also be purple where it is connected against concealed pipework in a wall of building. The Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) has set out the specific water meter requirements as several cross connections have arisen due to confusion between non-drinking water and drinking water inlet/outlet and meter apparatus.

Infrastructure requirements are as per The Standard for Dual Reticulation Infrastructure which states non-drinking water infrastructure pipework shall be permanent purple colour no darker than Jacaranda P24 or Purple P12 and no lighter than P23 Lilac and labelled as non-drinking water. Sleeving can only be used for large diameter pipes where short runs make solid purple unviable.

The Guidelines for non-drinking water in South Australia have been designed for the plumbing and water industries, water industry entities, and property owners with a non-drinking water supply.

The guidelines outline the requirements and responsibilities for installing, operating, and maintaining non-drinking water systems per the Water Industry Act 2012Water Industry Regulations 2012, and appropriate technical standards.

There are three parts to the guidelines:

For further information, contact the OTR Infrastructure section.

All Water Industry Entities are required to comply with their approved Safety, Reliability, Maintenance and Technical Management Plan (SRMTMP) and conduct annual audits to demonstrate compliance with the plan for the previous financial year.

The results of these audits through completion of the internal audit checklist must be reported to the OTR by 30 August each year. The Internal audit checklist (PDF, 130.7 KB) can be downloaded, completed, and submitted by attaching it to an email to DEM.OTRWSInfrastructure@sa.gov.au

notification and communication protocol (PDF, 388.1 KB) has been developed to give water industry entities a clear understanding of their notification and reporting requirements to the OTR.

This protocol does not remove any other responsibilities set in place by other agencies, such as those included in the water/wastewater incident notification and communication protocol established between the Department for Health and Wellbeing, SA Water and the Environment Protection Authority.

To report an incident:

  1. Refer to the OTR's water and sewerage infrastructure notification and communication protocol to determine the type of incident (Priority Type 1, Type 1, Type 2) and the associated notification requirements.
  2. Complete verbal notification within the nominated timeframe, if applicable.
  3. Complete and submit the incident notification form (DOCX, 45.9 KB) within the nominated timeframe.

Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA)

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) is responsible for the economic regulation of water and sewerage services in South Australia. Their role includes:

  • water industry entities licensing
  • consumer protection
  • retail pricing.

A water industry entity is defined by the Water Industry Act 2012 as an organisation or person that holds a licence issued by ESCOSA to provide a drinking water, non-drinking water and/or sewage service, operation or activity.

For further information visit the ESCOSA website.

Environment Protection Authority (EPA)

Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is South Australia's independent environment protection regulator. The EPA works to protect South Australian waters from the adverse impacts of pollution that might reduce their value to current and future generations. This includes our creeks, streams, rivers, coastal waters, groundwater and aquifers. EPA grants licences which outline the requirements are to be met. For example, discharge of treated wastewater to the environment (creek, aquifer, ocean) requires an EPA licence. More information about EPA can be found on the EPA website.

SA Health Water and Wastewater Regulation

SA Health ensures that drinking water is delivered to consumers according to the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act 2011 and the Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2012. All new drinking water providers must register with SA Health and implement a risk management plan prior to commencing supply.

SA Health also regulates wastewater and recycled water through approves for collection, treatment plant, storage and irrigation of recycled water, supply and sue for dual reticulation schemes. SA Health also endorsed monitoring program for water and wastewater. More information about SA Health can be found on the SA Health website.

Water industry entities - explanatory note

The five South Australian water regulatory agencies (OTR, EPA, SA Health, DEW and ESCOSA) have collaborated to clarify the purpose of technical reporting requirements and provide greater transparency for water industry entities.

The OTR explanatory note (PDF, 39.7 KB) for technical reporting requirements highlights the legislative and practical reasons why the regulatory agencies request the data, what they do with it, and what benefits the data/information provides to the industry, customers and environment.

Explanatory notes from other regulators

This course is aimed at water industry entities and contractors.

It was developed by the Queensland Water Directorate (qldwater) and the Water Skills partnership. The course educates the importance and requirements for maintaining public health, minimising environmental harm, as well as general workplace health and safety when working around sewerage and recycled water assets.

The OTR in South Australia (SA) has reviewed the Brown Card in conjunction with other SA state government departments to modify the training to include SA regulatory requirements. The training is supported by the South Australian Government and will be available at no charge to water industry employees and contractors working with wastewater and recycled water in SA.

The training consists of information slides and a short quiz. Once the training is complete a “Brown Card” certificate of completion will be issued to the participant, which is valid for three years. The Brown Card SA is a non-accredited course but a valuable learning resource for sewerage and recycled water workplace health and safety basics.

The Brown Card SA training is hosted by qldwater on the water training website

First, new users should select the Brown Card SA course on the home page. You will then be prompted to create a new account. Once completed, you will be emailed an account confirmation link to enrol in the Brown Card SA training. You can then begin the Brown Card SA course through your water training website account.

For any enquiries, please contact the OTR Water and Sewerage Infrastructure team below

Certificate III in Water Industry Operations

TAFE SA offers Certificate III in water industry operations specialisations of networks, wastewater treatment, or water treatment. Certificate III offers the skills and knowledge required to monitor, operate, and maintain essential drinking water/wastewater operations. More information can be found on TAFE SA website.

Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA)

Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) facilitates the collection, development and exchange of quality information between people undertaking operational roles in the water, wastewater and recycled water industries. WIOA membership provides access to newsletters, the journal WaterWorks and updates on training.

WIOA provides practical guides for water and wastewater including practical guides on management of water catchments, treatment processes, and distribution systems. Details on the practical guides can be found on the WIOA website.

Australian Water Association (AWA)

The Australian Water Association (AWA) is Australia’s biggest water network inspiring and driving a sustainable water future. AWA provides individuals with career enrichment and organisations with business opportunities through sharing information and knowledge, connecting members with industry and stakeholders. More information can be found on the AWA website.

Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA)

Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA) provides resources on Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS), such as CWMS design criteria, Septic tank effluent drainage schemes – technical specifications & standard drawings and best practice guidance for reducing health risk for workers handling sewerage, biosolids or recycled water.

Electricity infrastructure

Electricity entities must comply with important safety policies when switching high voltage electrical equipment. By law, a detailed internal switching manual must be prepared, that includes safe work procedures for staff, contractors, and for specific equipment.

Internal manuals must be developed in accordance with policies and safety principles set out in the Switching Manual (PDF, 211.0 KB) that is prepared and revised as required by the Switching Committee.

The committee is made up of representatives of licensed South Australian electricity entities, a high voltage customer representative, and the Office of the Technical Regulator.

In South Australia, electricity generation project developers must include power system security services as part of their project. This is to demonstrate how they will help ensure local power supply stability.

The OTR assesses all applications for generators above five megawatts, and has a range of technical requirements that generators must meet before seeking development approval (PDF, 377.4 KB)

For more information on the technical requirements, email generatorapplications@sa.gov.au or call 8226 5667.

Gas infrastructure

gas leak is when gas escapes from a container, such as a pipe or cylinder, into an area where it shouldn't be. Gas has a strong smell added to it so that leaks can be easily detected and recognised. A gas leak can be very dangerous, so if you smell gas don't ignore it.

gas incident is an event that may be the result of a gas leak. It can range from carbon monoxide poisoning to a fire or explosion that causes damage to property, injury, or death of a person.

Gas leaks

If you smell gas, report the leak by calling the Gas Emergency and Leak Reporting Service.

  • Phone: 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532). Lines are open 24 hours a day and the call taker will provide you with advice on what to do.

Gas incidents

All gas incidents must be reported to the OTR Gas trades section, by the gas fitter or the occupier of the premises where the incident occurred.

If the incident occurred in a workplace, you must also report it to Safework SA.

The OTR investigates all major gas incidents including gas fatalities, gas installation incidents and distribution network incidents. The OTR prepares reports for the coroner as required.

Further information can be found in the reporting gas leaks and incidents section of the OTR Gas trades page.