Gippsland Water
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Water quality

Keeping your

drinking water safe

Water quality

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.


Strict standards

All the water we supply, no matter where it comes from, must meet strict water quality standards. We follow several laws and guidelines:

  • Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2015, and guidelines set by the Department of Health
  • Health (Fluoridation) Act 1973, and the Fluoridation Code of Practice set by the Department of Health
  • Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011, developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council

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:

  • Assessment of risks in drinking water catchments and systems
  • Treatment requirements to produce safe drinking water
  • Operational activities required to protect water quality through treatment and supply systems, and
  • Monitoring of performance, safety and quality
  • Corrective actions to respond to events in a timely manner


Testing for safety and quality

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 regularly test our water for quality

Where we test

We test samples from our water sources, treatment systems and at selected sampling locations across all drinking water supply areas, including:

  • Catchments
  • Storage reservoirs
  • Treatment plants
  • Water mains and storages
  • Points of supply to our customers


What we test for

We test for:

  • Bacteria, such as E. coli
  • Chemical contaminants such as heavy metals
  • Colour and clarity (turbidity)
  • Chlorine and fluoride levels
  • Minerals and natural substances like iron and manganese
  • pH
  • Disinfection by-products
  • Pesticides and other contaminants

Please refer to our Safe Drinking Water Act Annual Reports for more information on water quality results.

More details

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.

  • Understand our obligations to public health
  • Are committed to high quality products and services
  • Behave openly, ethically and fairly
  • Focus on customer satisfaction
  • Promote innovative solutions
  • Strive to get the best out of our systems all of the time

2. Our Commitments

To continually improve our drinking water quality performance by:

  • meeting all of our legislated drinking water quality requirements, and moving our practices beyond compliance with relevant legislation only, where sustainable and economic opportunities are identified;
  • managing the water quality aspects of all our activities by training our people, incorporating water quality objectives and targets into our business planning activities, and implementing appropriate risk based approaches to ensure we provide safe drinking water at all times;
  • working with our customers and suppliers to jointly understand and be more effective in the management of water quality products and services supplied to Gippsland Water; and
  • undertaking whole-of-water supply catchment to tap assessments as part of an integrated approach to the sustainable management of our water resources and treatment activities.

To communicate with our community by:

  • openly sharing and publishing information on our drinking water quality activities and performance;
  • utilising our water industry partners, advisory committees and other consultative mechanisms, to seek community involvement in policy development and planning processes and by contributing to initiatives and activities that educate and enhance community awareness of water resources, catchments, water treatment and water quality issues; and
  • cooperating with all stakeholders within the community to identify, influence and participate in sustainable solutions to global and regional drinking water quality priorities.

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
Boisdale 26 3.7 9 0.82 <0.01 16 1.6 13 7.5 11 64 0.16
Boolarra 18 3.5 14 0.82 0.05 13 0.8 15 7.2 12 66 0.30
Briagolong 45 3.1 27 NF 0.02 25 4.3 33 7.1 25 133 0.15
Churchill 18 3.1 14 0.83 0.03 12 1.0 15 7.1 12 74 0.31
Coongulla-Glenmaggie 20 4.6 7 NF 0.04 16 1.1 6 7.6 6 46 0.20
Cowwarr 18 3.9 14 NF 0.04 13 0.7 14 7.6 13 68 0.18
Drouin 12 7.8 21 0.82 <0.01 28 1.9 12 7.0 18 85 0.21
Erica 29 3.8 8 NF 0.10 10 0.2 27 7.2 37 85 0.35
Heyfield 25 3.4 11 NF 0.02 18 2.3 16 7.2 24 73 0.20
Jumbuk 17 3.1 15 0.83 0.02 12 1.0 16 7.7 11 66 0.28
Maffra 22 3.3 9 0.82 <0.01 15 1.7 13 7.3 13 60 0.170
Mirboo North 33 3.2 59 NF 0.01 22 3.3 40 7.1 18 153 0.29
Moe 19 3.6 29 0.76 0.04 22 3.0 22 7.1 13 104 0.35
Morwell 16 2.0 14 0.84 0.02 10 1.3 14 7.0 14 60 0.26
Neerim South 39 2.6 24 NF 0.03 17 2.4 33 7.5 30 135 0.46
Newborough 20 3.6 32 0.76 0.01 23 3.4 24 7.1 14 109 0.36
Noojee 40 2.5 27 NF 0.03 17 2.6 33 est 7.8 31 137 0.33
Rawson 25 1.7 8 NF 0.05 7 0.06 28 7.1 36 90 0.30
Rokeby-Buln Buln 12 8.2 21 0.83 0.01 29 2.0 13 7.0 18 78 0.21
Rosedale 18 3.5 14 NF 0.02 11 0.6 14 7.7 15 66 0.32
Sale-Wurruk 28 6.0 118 0.82 0.02 11 0.6 14 7.7 15 66 0.32
Seaspray 46 24.0 117 NF 0.02 90 7.4 67 7.2 74 318 0.29
Stratford 25 4.2 10 0.82 0.02 17 1.5 14 7.4 12 67 0.19
Thorpdale 22 5.9 25 0.78 0.04 22 1.8 19 7.5 14 77 0.30
Toongabbie 16 2.2 14 NF <0.01 10 1.0 14 7.2 14 62 0.17
Trafalgar 21 4.5 30 0.77 <0.01 25 3.2 24 7.3 14 101 0.20
Traralgon 19 2.1 13 0.78 0.01 10 1.2 15 7.1 12 67 0.28
Traralgon South-Hazelwood North 15 2.2 13 0.83 0.02 11 1.2 15 7.1 13 66 0.26
Tyers-Glengarry 17 3.0 14 NF 0.06 11 0.9 14 7.1 15 68 0.29
Warragul 12 8.3 22 0.82 0.03 28 1.9 13 7.1 17 84 0.24
Warragul South 14 8.7 22 0.81 0.02 29 1.8 13 7.3 17 87 0.32
Willow Grove 19 2.4 18 NF <0.01 14 1.9 15 7.8 11 72 0.19
Yallourn North 21 4.0 32 0.76 0.02 23 3.2 23 7.1 14 118 0.33
Yarragon 19 5.6 28 0.78 0.03 25 2.8 21 7.4 15 103 0.21
Yinnar 16 2.9 14 0.82 0.02 11 1.0 14 7.1 12 68 0.33

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:

  • <60 mg/L CaCO3 soft but possibly corrosive
  • 60–200 mg/L CaCO3 good quality
  • 200–500 mg/L CaCO3 increasing scaling problems
  • >500 mg/L CaCO3 severe scaling
  • Total hardness in major Australian reticulated supplies ranges between about 5 mg/L and about 380 mg/L.

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.

For more information about water fluoridation in Victoria visit the Department of Health website or call 1300 761 874.

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:

  • Source of water — your water can come from different sources, each with natural differences such as mineral content and the treatment processes applied.
  • Demand — people tend to use more water in summer, which causes it to travel faster through the pipes which can reduce travel time and disturb settled particles in pipes.
  • Temperature — temperature throughout the year changes its taste (cooler water generally tastes better).

Some other common changes to water quality can include:

  • White, milky or cloudy water - from very fine air bubbles in water after maintenance or repair works in water mains.
  • Brown, discoloured or particles in the water - from disturbed sediments in pipes from high flow during high demand days or burst water mains.

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.

Download our latest PFAS water test results

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).

About us

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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Free drinking water initiative

Did you know that you can access free tap water at refill locations across the Latrobe Valley?

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Contact us

55 Hazelwood Road, Traralgon, VIC, 3844

Phone: 1800 050 500

Fax: (03) 5174 0103

Interpreter service: 1313 450


TTY: 1800 555 677

Email: contactus@gippswater.com.au