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:
- 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 to meet these requirements 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:
View our recent Safe Drinking Water Act Annual Reports
Drinking water risk management plan
The Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2015 require a comprehensive risk management plan. 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, as well as physical and chemical contaminants.
Where we test
We test samples from our water sources, treatment systems and at selected sampling locations across all drinking water supply areas, including:
- 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
- Disinfection by-products
- Pesticides and other contaminants
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.
- 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's 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.
|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:
- <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 as it travels from the treatment plant to your tap.
Most of our 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 the 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's 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:
- 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 and may 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 in the area, including the use of fire-fighting foam.
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).
Hexazinone is an organic compound that is used as a broad spectrum herbicide. Hexazinone herbicides are sometimes used on land we manage to help with pest flora control and bushfire risk mitigation.
While we follow strict protocols to avoid hexazinone getting into waterways that supply our catchment, we also test our raw water supplies as part of our risk based approach to be sure we supply safe drinking water.
Our raw water testing results show that the levels of hexazinone at Moondarra are of no concern, falling well below the Australian Drinking Water Guideline health-based values.
Download our latest hexazinone Moondarra test results.