We provide some of the world’s best drinking water to our communities. We safeguard the quality of your drinking water through our Drinking Water Risk Management Plan and our Drinking Water Policy. This includes regular testing of water to ensure it meets strict quality requirements.
An independent laboratory tests the drinking water samples from our systems, analysing it for bacteriological, physical and chemical parameters.
All the water we supply, no matter where it comes from, must meet strict water quality standards. We follow several laws and guidelines:
We have systems to manage water quality that meet the requirement of these laws and guidelines and the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) systems. We are regularly audited by independently certified drinking water risk management auditors and produce an annual report on drinking water quality:
Drinking water risk management plan
The Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2015 require a comprehensive risk management plan to be implemented and maintained. Our drinking water risk management plan includes:
To produce safe drinking water, we closely monitor our treatment plants, distribution systems, and conduct extensive water quality sampling and analysis. We test for E. coli, blue green algae and other organisms which could cause illness, and for physical and chemical contaminants.
We test samples from our water sources, treatment systems and at selected sampling locations across all drinking water supply areas, including:
We test for:
Please refer to our Safe Drinking Water Act Annual Reports for more information on water quality results.
DRINKING WATER QUALITY POLICY
1. Policy Statement and Purpose
Gippsland Water is committed to managing its water supply systems to provide safe drinking water for customers at all times. This is achieved by managing catchments, treatment and water supply assets and systems in an efficient and sustainable manner reflecting the current and future commitments.
2. Our Commitments
To continually improve our drinking water quality performance by:
To communicate with our community by:
Drinking water is used for a range of purposes by our community and it is useful for customers to know the typical quality of their drinking water supply. The table below lists some water quality parameters that may be of interest to customers who use drinking water for brewing and wine making, aquariums, and home-based medical treatments such as dialysis. More information is available in our Safe Drinking WaterAct Annual Report
If you require further information about drinking water quality, you can call us on 1800 050 500 to discuss your requirements.
Average concentrations for year 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020:
|Town supply||Alkalinity total||Calcium||Chloride||Fluoride||Iron total||Total hardness||Magnesium||Sodium||pH||Sulfate||Total dissolved solids||Turbidity|
|Units||mg/L CaCO3||mg/L||mg/L||mg/L||mg/L||mg/L CaCO3||mg/L||mg/L||units||mg/L||mg/L||NTU|
|Traralgon South-Hazelwood North||15||2.2||13||0.83||0.02||11||1.2||15||7.1||13||66||0.26|
NF – System not fluoridated, naturally occurring fluoride will be present in low concentrations.
Water hardness varies with the type and location of the source of water and can have seasonal variation.
The Australian Guidelines for Drinking Water describe hardness as follows:
The total hardness of our drinking water supplies ranges from 7 to 90 mg/L CaCO3. The table in the 'Water quality by town' section above details typical water hardness for each supply area. The manual for your new dishwasher, fridge, oven or other appliance may recommend you check about hardness levels of your water before connecting the appliance. Different manufacturers can quote hardness in different ways, please check the units of measurement match those in our table.
Our drinking water is disinfected with chlorine and chloramines. A small concentration of residual disinfectant is intended to remain in the water distribution system to protect water quality from deteriorating during transit from the treatment plant to our customers. Most of Gippsland Water’s drinking water systems use free chlorine as the method of disinfection. The water systems in Noojee and Willow Grove use chloramination.
Drinking water will require additional treatment prior to use in aquariums to neutralise the residual disinfectants or adjust hardness and mineral content.
Please consult with your aquarium supplier for guidance on what is required for your particular needs.
The fluoride level in drinking water is adjusted to meet standards set by the Victorian Department of Health under the Health (Fluoridation) Act 1973 and Code of Practice for the fluoridation of drinking water (Second Edition 2019). Fluoride addition is carefully controlled at the water treatment plant to ensure it remains within the limits set. Adding fluoride does not alter the taste or smell of drinking water.
Water fluoridation helps protect teeth against decay in people of all ages, particularly children. It has been practised in Australia since 1953 and has been endorsed by health and dental organisations worldwide including in the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
The colour, taste and smell of your water can change throughout the year. This is usually normal and can be influenced by the following factors:
Some other common changes to water quality can include:
Find out more about pressure and colour if you are concerned about the quality of your drinking water.
Please call us on 1800 057 057 to report any concerns you have about the quality of your drinking water.
PFAS is widespread in the environment and is commonly found in non-stick cookware, water resistant clothing, cleaning products and some personal care products. We test for PFAS in the Sale, Seaspray and Briagolong systems as a precautionary measure as we are aware of historical activities including the use of fire-fighting foam in the area.
The National Health and Medical Research Council Australian Drinking Water Guidelines provide health based guideline values for three PFAS substances*. These guideline values are designed to be protective over a lifetime. Our testing results show that the levels of PFAS in the water are of no concern as our results fall well below the drinking water guidelines.
You can also find out more about PFAS on the Australian Government’s PFAS website.
*Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulphonate (PFHxS), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).