Community to regain access to Kempsey’s water filling stations

Published on 16 November 2023

Water filling station

Water filling stations across the Shire will be accessible to the general public after Kempsey Shire Council worked with NSW Health on the community’s behalf to remove the need for container checks.

Following the introduction of Level 1 Water Restrictions, Council recently implemented a requirement for users of filling stations to be authorised water carters in line with NSW Health requirements for potable water.

In response to community concerns, Council staff have successfully worked with NSW Health to reach a compromise that means residents can now apply for an exemption to use non-approved containers to transport water taken from filling stations.

Apply for an exemption

Kempsey Shire Residents who require the use of the Water Fill Stations for approved uses under Water Restrictions, including potable water, are encouraged to apply for an exemption permit which will enable an access card to be granted for use at the Shire’s water fill stations.

A Water Restrictions Exemption Permit form can be downloaded at or obtained from Council’s Customer Service Centre.

Once an exemption form has been submitted to Council, you will be notified in 2-5 days as to whether an exemption permit has been granted and will then be issued with a card to enable access to filling stations.

Residents will no longer need to have their potable water containers approved by NSW Health. Instead they will need to accept that responsibility for the quality of water supplied from a water filling station transfers to the customer at the filling station outlet.

Water from water fill stations must be used for the approved exemption purpose only and will remain subject to the water restriction rules that are in place at the time. 

Exemption permits are not available to non-residents.

How to safely transport water

Water from the Shire’s filling stations complies with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and is safe to drink without further treatment. However, it is essential to collect water into clean containers to make sure it remains safe to use.

Do not use containers that have previously held chemicals or fuel.

Follow the steps below to ensure your water remains safe:

  • Use a suitable container that has not held hazardous substances.
  • If the container hasn’t been used for a while, rinse any hoses and taps, other fittings, and the inside of the tank with drinking water before filling.
  • Seal the container and hoses to protect from contamination during transport.
  • Ideally, household tanks should be cleaned before refilling. If cleaning is not possible, fill carefully to avoid stirring up sediment from the base of the tank. If sediment has been stirred up and water appears dirty, speak with your Public Health Unit for advice.

Contact your local Public Health Unit for advice on 1300 066 055 if you have already topped up your household tank and you are not sure of the quality.

For further information on the location of filling stations please contact Kempsey Shire Council.

Level 1 Water Restrictions are in force across the shire and unauthorised uses may be prosecuted.

For further information on the Water Restrictions Overview, please head to

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