How we spend your money

We live in a world class city so it’s no surprise that our drinking water is some of the best in the world.

We collect about $2.4 billion from our customers each year - and we spend it wisely.

This means you'll always have great tasting water and not have to worry where your wastewater goes.

We're also building new assets so we can meet the demands of our growing city.

By 2020, we'll invest over $2 billion to build new filtration plants, pumps and water supply pipes. We'll also upgrade our wastewater networks and treatment plants. 

Find out about our current projects.

Where does your money go?

 IPART sets our prices every four years, the below figures are from our 2016-2020 price proposal.

Water security and water purchase

Warragamba catchment

Most of Sydney's drinking water comes from rainwater stored in lakes.

About 21% of your bill goes towards buying the water we supply to you.

All water comes from the environment and flows through the natural water cycle

Rain falling in river catchments is the main source of Sydney’s drinking water. Dams are built across rivers to catch and store water to give us a more permanent and reliable water supply.

WaterNSW manages and protects five drinking water catchments in the greater Sydney area. These catchments provide the source water for 11 major water supply dams that supply water for Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. 

Warragamba Dam is Sydney’s largest dam. It provides about 80% of the 'bulk water' we need for greater Sydney's water supply.

In response to the Millennium Drought, the NSW Government commissioned the Sydney Desalination Plant on the coast at Kurnell. 

Desalination has provided an extra source of water for Sydney that doesn't rely on rain. It's an important part of the NSW Government's plan to make sure we have enough water for the future. 

To find out more, visit  Sydney Desalination Plant.

Want to know more?
Find out more about our main water sources.

Water treatment

Person working in a lab

We test your water to ensure it's safe to drink.

We spend about 10% of the money we collect on treating water. This helps ensure you always have safe drinking water that tastes great.

We filter every drop to meet the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, which are some of the strictest in the world. 

We use modern water filtration plants and tailor the processes to the source water. This ensures we achieve a consistent, high standard.

Water testing

Your water is tested from source to tap to ensure it’s safe to drink. We use advanced technology to constantly monitor your water quality at key steps.

Our water quality scientists do up to 70 different tests to confirm your drinking water is of the highest quality.

We test our water every day and report on the performance of our water filtration plants and water delivery systems.

You can learn about the quality of the water in your area in our daily drinking water quality report.

Check your water quality


Water transfer

Staff doing maintenance

Our staff are constantly working on our water network.

We spend 23% of your money looking after our water network.

Every day, we supply over 1.5 billion litres of drinking water to homes and businesses.

After we filter your water, it goes through a complex series of pipes and reservoirs before it gets to you.

Although pipes sometimes break unexpectedly, the water supply is available at least 99.7% of the time across our entire water network.

Want to know where we're working?

Find out

We give rebates to customers who experience interruptions to their water or wastewater supply.

Find out how much we give back in rebates.


Wastewater collection and transport

Sewer pumping station

This is just one of our many pumping stations.

We spend 30% of the money we collect taking your wastewater away and pumping it to one of our treatment plants.

Wastewater is the water you've used in homes, schools, businesses and industries. It goes down drains from sinks, baths, showers, laundries, toilets and other drains inside buildings.

Wastewater is 99% water. The remaining one per cent is made up of things you've added to water as you've used it.

We collect and transport your wastewater through a complex system of over 25,000 km of pipes and almost 700 pumping stations that make up our wastewater network.

Did you know?
About 70% of Sydney's wastewater is made inside the home.

Environment and re-use

Cooks River after naturalisation

We're proud of the work we do to help protect the environment.

We spend 13% of your bill on treating wastewater and investing in recycling and re-use.

Once wastewater arrives at one of our treatment plants through our pipes, we use different treatment processes to remove impurities.

Treating wastewater is about removing or breaking down what people have added to the water that leaves their home, school or business

Wastewater can go through up to three levels of treatment called primary, secondary and tertiary treatment to remove waste.

Different plants treat wastewater to different levels. We treat the wastewater so it's fit for purpose. This means we treat wastewater to suit the environment (creek, river or ocean) that will receive it, or to suit how it will be re-used.

Learn about wastewater treatment and what you can do to help.

We recycle water in some areas so it can be used again by treating it to a very high standard. We also turn the nutrient rich material from wastewater into biosolids.

Learn more about how we go about recycling & re-use.


Our staff

We're here 24/7 to help you.

We spend about three per cent of your money on reading meters, issuing bills and giving great customer service.

We read 1.4 million meters, issue 2 million bills and help over 200,000 customers who get in touch each quarter!

We help customers with payment difficulties through our Customer Care team.

We also work with businesses so they use water efficiently and dispose of wastewater in an environmentally friendly way.

We do all this and a lot more!
As Sydney grows, we need to adapt and service new customers. We know your needs and expectations are changing so we're changing the way we do things. We ensure our customers are driving our business.

We want to make sure everyone is delighted by their experiences with us every time - and we want to make it easy for you to get in touch with us.

Whenever you need us, we're right here - in Sydney!

If you need our help, simply contact us.

How we spend your money image - 2

Your money goes towards lots of things.

Who sets our prices?

Bill payment

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW (IPART) sets our prices. They're based on the actual cost of providing water, wastewater and stormwater services to the community. 

Find out more