Water quality update

Westernport Water has received reports from customers regarding the appearance, taste and odour of their drinking water over recent weeks, particularly in the waterline townships.

As Managing Director of Westernport Water, I acknowledge that water delivered recently to certain townships in our service area has not met our customers’ expectations and I sincerely apologise for this.

A number of operating factors combined to create a situation that we have not experienced before. This challenged our Operations Team and Treatment Plant staff, as the cascading effect of the various issues created a range of unforeseen impacts to parts of our network.

I stress that the water supplied from the Ian Bartlett Water Purification Plant at Candowie Reservoir is currently meeting all health and performance parameters. Westernport Water has a robust testing regime in place that continues to confirm through real-time monitoring and independent laboratory testing, that our drinking water remains safe to drink.

The water quality issues developed due to a number of factors.  After low flow in our pipes between April and October, there was a sharp increase in demand during November. The month’s consumption was the highest November on record, consumption usually only seen in December, January and February. This higher than expected flow and velocity of water in our mains led to a discolouration as sediment from within the water main was loosened and stirred. This, combined with mechanical issues at our treatment plant at the time, meant that we had to rely on alternative water sources for a while to meet the sharp increase in consumption.

These operational and demand issues are now resolved.

It is expected that water quality will significantly improve due to a range of activities and initiatives undertaken by Westernport Water staff. These include targeted flushing of water mains in all waterline townships; inspection and cleaning of treated water storage tanks; additional field sampling and analysis; and responding individually to each water quality complaint received.

All Westernport Water staff are absolutely committed to ensuring that the water delivered to our customers is the best that we can possibly provide.

I again wish to assure all of our customers that at all times our water has met the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Quality Act 2003 and regulations and is safe to drink.

We have staff working 24/7 to address this situation and to focus on particular areas where sediment may remain in the water network.

Between 29 December 2020 and 8 January 2021 we will undertake Air Scouring in addition to our targeted flushing program, in all waterline townships, including Coronet Bay, Corinella, Tenby Point, Pioneer Bay, Grantville, Adams Estate, Bass, and Woolamai.

All residents will be given 48 hours’ notice via a hand delivered notice. Some customer’s water supply will be disrupted intermittently while works are completed. Disruption times will be outlined via the hand delivered notice. Routine updates will also appear on our Facebook page and on our website. Please note, we will only be air scouring residential areas (McDonalds, pubs, service stations, retail outlets, cafes and caravan parks etc. will not be completed nor interrupted). Air Scouring will only occur on business days. We will not interrupt customers on weekends or public holidays.

Air Scouring involves injecting high pressure air in to the water main, which can sometimes result in cloudy water in your tap (pressurised bubbles). If you notice cloudy water due to air in the pipes, it is only temporary, and can be removed by running your taps for a few minutes. For further info on water quality issues see http://bit.ly/2t9EBbc0.

Monitoring and sampling of drinking water will continue to be undertaken throughout our service area as part of our testing program, which sees more than 1,500 samples taken annually.

We are approaching our peak demand period and interrupting water supply is never an easy decision or suitable outcome. We recognise it may be an inconvenience, however it is important to us to ensure our customers receive high quality drinking water at all times.

I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused, particularly at this time of year and at the end of a year that has not been easy for anyone.

If you are experiencing any discoloured water, please contact our Customer Service Team on 1300 720 711 (or 1800 249 090 after hours).


Yours sincerely

Peter Quigley

Managing Director




Media enquiries to Communications and Engagement Team on 1300 720 711 or
email | communications@westernportwater.com.au