Water quality up complaints down

Westernport Water customer complaints about water quality are well down on last year’s figures according to the Corporation’s latest Annual Drinking Water Quality Report 2008/09.

In 2008/09, there were a total of 40 water quality complaints compared with 147 in 2007/08 and 131 in 2006/07.

The biggest area for improvement was discoloured water with a low score of 16 complaints compared to 117 in 2007/08 and 74 in 2006/07.

According to Managing Director, Murray Jackson, the figures reflect the success of major water quality initiatives underway at Westernport Water.

“In 2008/09, we completed some big engineering projects including maintenance and replacement work on our main drinking water filters, and major process control upgrades at the treatment plant,” Mr Jackson said.

“These improvements, together with successful treatment of an algal bloom in May 2009, resulted in clearer water and a smaller number of taste and odour complaints than in previous years.

“I expect next year’s results will show a similar downward trend in customer complaints as we continue to roll out initiatives aimed at improving water quality for our customers.”

Westernport Water is required to provide the Department of Health (DoH) with an annual report on the quality of drinking water it supplies to its Bass Coast customers.

The information on discolouration, taste, odour, blue water, chemical composition and illnesses is released to the community and stakeholders each year to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 (Victoria).

Westernport Water must also report water quality incidents to the department when results fall outside DoH recommended levels.

One false alarm occurred when a high E. coli level at Wimbledon Heights was traced to a customer’s internal cross-connection.

The customer had turned off the mains supply and was sourcing water from his own supply tank fitted with a pressurised pump.

As a result, Westernport Water is in the process of identifying private tanks that could infiltrate the water mains and has set up a back flow register. It is also working with plumbers in the area to install new non-return valves to prevent recurrences.

The report release coincides with the results of a regulatory audit of Westernport Water’s drinking water risk management plan.

The audit found Westernport Water was fully compliant with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (2003) and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2005.

This year’s water quality report is available on the Westernport Water websitewww.westernportwater.com.au homepage.

The Westernport area remains on permanent water savings measures. You can check these measures atwww.westernportwater.com.au or phone 1300 720 711.