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Bushfire preparation key to survival

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Bushfire preparation key to survival

With thoughts of bushfires very much on the forefront of people’s minds at the moment, Gippsland’s four water corporations are reminding customers that household water supply systems should not be relied upon in times of emergency.

“Our systems are simply not designed to provide fire-fighting capability to a community under threat,” said Paul Clark, representing Westernport Water, South Gippsland Water, Gippsland Water and East Gippsland Water. “This is because town water systems are designed to cater for everyday domestic drinking water needs and may not cope with bushfire events.”

“If a large number of homeowners are filling buckets, hosing down properties or putting out embers on their property, not only will reserves be drawn down but pressure at the tap is also likely to fall away,” added Mr. Clark.

“Add in a CFA tanker filling up at the same time and the water delivery system is likely to completely stall, leaving homeowners with no water at all.”

Each of the Gippsland water corporations have information around bushfire preparedness on their individual websites.

“While we prepare for summer by maintaining our infrastructure and sites, one of the other key things we do is to ensure customers are aware of the limitations of the system in a bushfire. We are unable to guarantee water pressure or an uninterrupted supply in a bushfire event. Being prepared is key and that includes having as much information as possible,” concluded Mr Clark.

Homeowners who decide to stay and defend their property should have a carefully considered bushfire plan in line with Country Fire Authority guidelines.

The CFA recommends home owners who choose to stay and defend their property have at least 10,000 litres of water available as well as firefighting hoses and a generator to pump water should mains power be interrupted.

Detailed information about preparing for a bushfire can be found at

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Gippsland Water supplies fresh clean drinking water to more than 70,000 customers, and wastewater services to more than 63,000 customers across an area of more than 5,000 square kilometres. It maintains a $1 billion infrastructure network, which includes more than 2,000 kilometres of water mains, 15 water treatment plants, over 1,700 kilometres of sewer mains and 14 wastewater treatment plants.

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