About our water supply

Yass Water Supply

Yass water supply sources water from the Yass Dam. Constructed in 1927 with a capacity of 1,125ML, the Dam served the community of Yass until the dam wall was raised 3 metres in 2013 at a cost of $22M, which increased the dam’s capacity to 2,460ML and the service capacity from 7,500 people to 15,000 people.

The villages of Bowning and Binalong were connected to the Yass water supply in 1989. Prior to this date, Bowning did not have a treated water supply and Binalong was supplied via an old railway reticulation system sourced from Illalong Dam.

Murrumbateman village was connected to the Yass Water Supply System in May 2021 following the completion of the Yass to Murrumbateman Water Transfer Project. Prior to this, water for the village was sourced from groundwater which was of poor quality and meant that the village was constantly on water restrictions.

NSW Environment Protection Authority requirements

Yass Water Treatment Plant

The first water treatment facility was constructed in 1938 and was upgraded in 1990. The upgrade facility includes a dissolved air floatation (DAF) system of treatment together with rapid gravity sand filtration. This Plant was designed to treat 13 ML per day. This treatment plant presently services approximately 7,500 people.

Yass Dam

Annual Dams Safety Standards Report 2022(PDF, 287KB)

Improving Yass water

Council recognises that the potability of Yass water is an issue for local residents.

While the water supply is safe to consume, it is affected by water hardness, dissolved solids, high organic matter, iron and manganese; causing the varying taste and colour long experienced by local residents.

Frequently Asked Questions: Yass Water Supply

What to do when discoloured water runs from your taps

There are many things that can cause discolouration of water.

First run a tap located the closest to the water meter on your property boundary to see if the water is clear.

If the water at this tap is clear, it is likely that the pipes within the property are the cause of the discoloration. If the problem persists, you may need to contact a plumber.

If the water at the tap is not clear, it may be that the discoloured water is coming from the water supply network. Should this be the case, continue to run the tap for three to four minutes to see if the discolouration disappears. Collect this water in a bucket and use the water on your garden.

If the discolouration persists, please contact Council on 6226 1477 or Council@yass.nsw.gov.au Staff will visit your property at the earliest opportunity to flush near the water meter and/or nearby water mains and see if that rectifies the water discolouration issue.

We recommend that residents check water colour before washing laundry during summer months. Discoloured water can be used safely on gardens and lawns. 


What causes discoloured water?

The frequency and severity of water discolouration can vary due to the water source, treatment technologies, and age of infrastructure, seasonal impacts and climate. Therefore, water discolouration in Yass can be caused by one or many factors, such as:

  • Changes in the season cause a spike in manganese and iron content in the Yass water supply, due to ‘overturning’ or water 'turning over' as it changes temperature.
  • Persistent hot weather and limited and/or significant rainfall events will impact the colour and odour.
  • Mix of high and low water supply demand in the network disturbing natural sediments in pipes – low demand for water supply in the pipe line can cause discolouration due to the length of time the water is in contact with the build-up of minerals and oppositely, high demand periods (e.g. hot summer, drought, etc.) can cause mineral deposits to be stripped from the lining of the pipe and transported to downstream connections, resulting in discolouration.
  • Aging water main infrastructure - old pipelines can have a build-up of natural minerals, such as iron and manganese, causing discoloured water.
  • Discolouration can occur after a major infrastructure repair or while mater mains are being flushed.
  • Galvanised pipe material in internal house plumbing - there are cases where water discolouration is caused by corroded galvanised water pipes on customer's private properties.
  • Aging hot water system can also contribute to discolouration of supplied water.  


Is my water safe?


Discoloured water, as regulated under the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, is considered to be an aesthetic matter rather than a health matter. The reddish-brown coloured particles (which are oxidised colloidal iron and manganese precipitates) sometimes found in your water, are non-hazardous elements.

Council continues to regularly apply chlorine to the water and test daily water samples across the network. Discoloured water is not a risk to the public when sufficient chlorine residual is maintained within the network.

Council acknowledges that the incidence of water colour/odour can be a nuisance in a water supply. We apologise for this inconvenience and are doing all we can to address this matter.

You can access all of Council’s latest Water Quality reports here.