PFAS and drinking water

What are PFAS

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are human-made (also known as synthetic) chemicals that make products resistant to heat, stains, grease, and water.

PFAS are a group of chemicals that have been used in industrial and consumer products for over 70 years. From 1 July 2025, the Australian Government will introduce a ban on their use after concerns that PFAS can accumulate in humans and in the environment.

About PFAS and your drinking water supply

A risk assessment undertaken by Westernport Water rated Candowie Reservoir (Westernport Water’s primary supply source) and its contributing waterways to be low risk as there is no history of industrial or fire-fighting activities, which are typically the key factor leading to elevated levels of PFAS in waterways.

Additionally, Westernport Water commissioned testing to be carried out by an independent NATA Accredited laboratory (May 2024) and these tests were unable to detect any of the suite of PFAS chemicals or their precursors.

The water sector is committed to ensuring the provision of safe and secure drinking water to customers and communities. Water utilities in Australia are highly regulated, including for health and the environment.

Westernport Water acknowledges customer concerns and interest in PFAS. All water corporations are required to manage drinking water quality in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council. The Guidelines set out key principles and practices underpinned by available scientific evidence to manage threats to drinking water safety.

Testing was not able to detect any PFAS chemicals or their precursors in the water, and ongoing testing will continue to ensure that we maintain safe drinking water for our customers.

Customers can be reassured that their drinking water is safe and compliant with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and current national best practice guidance.

Further details and helpful information on PFAS are available:

Water Servies Association of Australia website

Water Services Association of Australia PFAS Fact Sheet.