Water treatment trial a winner – and a stayer

Chloramination of water in the Kilcunda region will continue indefinitely following a successful trial to improve water quality by Westernport Water.

Almost 80% of customers quizzed post-trial were happy with the improved quality of the water – up 26% on the previous year’s survey. Westernport Water Managing Director Murray Jackson said: “Our customers are telling us that our focus on water quality is starting to have results.” Three-quarters of those surveyed believed that the chloramination treatment should be continued. Asked if they had noticed any change in water quality since the trial started in May 2009, 34% reported noticing some changes … largely for the better. “Almost 70% of these customers noted that the taste had improved, and more than half said the smell of the water was better,” said Mr Jackson. “And 15% of customers reported improved water colour.” “Water that tastes better, smells better and looks better … that’s what our customers are reporting back to us,” he said. Around 600 residential and non-residential properties at Archies Creek, Kilcunda and Dalyston were used to trial the water treatment process. Chloramination has been used for more than 70 years throughout Australia. “We add a small amount of ammonia to water prior to the addition of chlorine,” Mr Jackson explained. “It lessens the swimming pool-like chlorine tastes and odours. After the trial, Westernport Water commissioned an independent random survey of 25% of affected customers. “The overall satisfaction rating of water in the trial area was rated as excellent by 17% of surveyed customers, with 62% being satisfied with the water quality,” said Mr Jackson. “We are very happy with these results.” Results from the trial are being evaluated before the treatment process is delivered across other parts of Westernport Water’s water supply system.