Improved water quality treatment – second trial

Properties in Corinella, Coronet Bay and Tenby Point have been chosen for a water quality treatment trial designed to reduce the chlorine taste and odour in the drinking water.

Chloramination trial in Corinella, Coronet Bay and Tenby Point

Westernport Water is conducting a new water quality treatment trial to reduce the chlorine taste and odour in water for customers in Corinella, Coronet Bay and Tenby Point.

The trial will start in the week beginning Monday, 30 November 2009 and continue through summer, with monitoring by Westernport Water.

The process is called chloramination and has been in use for more than 70 years in Australia.

In May 2009, Westernport Water ran its first chloramination trial on drinking water for customers in Archies Creek, Kilcunda and Dalyston.

The trial was successful with almost 70 per cent of customers surveyed saying the taste of their water had improved and half saying the odour had reduced. The success of this trial and the favourable feedback means it has been continued with ongoing monitoring by Westernport Water.

Customers and businesses in Corinella, Coronet Bay and Tenby Point will receive a letter from Westernport Water explaining details about the trial. For those wanting more information:

Contact our Water Quality Officer, Dean Chambers, 0417 366 475.

What is chloramination?

Drinking water supplied to Westernport Water customers via Candowie Reservoir comes from intensively-farmed paddocks. Chemical treatment is the only sure way of making drinking water safe.

Chlorine is normally added to water as part of the disinfection process. Chlorine, however, can still leave a slight ‘swimming pool’ taste and odour.

With chloramination, a small amount of ammonia is added to the water just before the chlorine. A reaction takes place that forms a new disinfectant, monochloramine. This lessens the taste and odour of chlorine in the water, and means less treatment by-products in the water.

What difference will I notice in the water quality?

After chloramination the water will not look any different, but it should taste better and smell less like chlorine.

Westernport Water will conduct daily monitoring and testing of the chloraminated water during the trial.

There may be some early taste and odour variations during the trial because of the small quantities involved as chloramination is administered with very sensitive equipment. There is a very small chance of different tastes and odours occurring during the early days of the trial. Westernport Water will seek to prevent this but ask for customer patience if this happens.

Results from the trials will be studied before any further program is undertaken.

Is it safe?

People with kidney ailments and other medical conditions can safely drink the water.

It is also safe to use on all garden plants, including fruit and vegetables.

Property owners in the trial area will receive individual letters explaining the process and local businesses are being contacted by Westernport Water staff.

Parts of the Yarra Valley, Geelong, Mornington Peninsula, Wodonga, Benalla, together with other Victorian towns, use chloramination to safely treat their water. Brisbane has been using it successfully since the 1930s. Sydney has recently started to use it and South Australia is using it in some of its systems. Its use in America is increasing with approximately 25 per cent of US water utilities now treating their water this way. In South Gippsland, chloraminated water is already being supplied to Wonthaggi, Inverloch, Archies Creek, Kilcunda, Dalyston and Cape Patterson.

Special needs

People on dialysis machines and owners of pond or aquarium fish will need additional information and instructions. For information, contact Dean Chambers, Water Quality Officer on mobile 0417 366 475.

What About My Aquarium Fish?

For more information you can contact Dean Chambers, Water Quality Officer on mobile 0417 366 475 or downlaod this information sheet.

What About Dialysis Machines?

Water used in dialysis machines is currently filtered and this must continue. Separate information is available for people on dialysis machines, contact Dean Chambers, Water Quality Officer on mobile 0417 366 475.