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What to do if your water is discoloured

Yass Valley Council would like to reiterate that the water supply is safe to consume, despite recent discolouration, caused by prevailing warm weather and the dislodgement of sediments attached to the pipe wall through increased water flow.

The issue is related to the sediment attached to the water main that is dislodged due to high water flow, which mainly happened along the trunk water main from the Water Treatment Plant to the reservoirs. The water that is coming out of the water treatment plant is clear and safe. Sporadic incidents are expected along the trunk water main (250 cast iron main from the 1960s) while the hot temperatures prevail. Staff will continue to monitor the situation and flush the system to assist with moving the discoloured water through the pipes.

“The Yass water supply is affected by geological (increased manganese and iron concentrations) and climatic conditions, which surround the catchment area,” said Yass Valley Council General Manager, Chris Berry

“The recent escalated discolouration has been a result of a number of factors, including a prolonged period of warmer temperatures, increased water consumption and the dislodgement of sediments attached to the pipe wall.

“Council has received requests from water users and the locations are scattered. Crews will attend these locations and flush the system to assist with moving the discoloured water. We urge anyone experiencing problems to contact our Customer Services team directly via email, website or phone. Posting on closed Facebook groups does not guarantee the message gets to Council.”

Council has publicly reported water quality results since 2014, with the Yass water supply tested daily. NSW Health also conducts monthly, independent testing of the water supply. The most recent sample tested shows that the water continues to comply with the health criteria of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

“Council has been lobbying both State and Federal Governments for funding to help us build a new water treatment plant for many years. I raised the issue with the NSW Premier and local Member while they were both in Yass late last year. They acknowledged the need for an improved water supply for Yass,” said Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey.

“Council is trying to accelerate the process by expediting early works that can improve water quality during extreme weather events such as after significant rainfall or during extended dry and warm weather. We agreed at our December meeting, to try and move this first part of the project along as soon as possible. Stage two is concerned with trying to find the most cost effective way to remove the hardness of the water and this is still being analysed by the experts.

“Council understands residents’ frustrations about the water quality – and we share those frustrations - but it is also important to get this once in a lifetime water treatment plant upgrade right, in the most cost effective way. We will keep working towards solutions and reports on the progress of the project will become a standing bi-monthly item on Council's meeting agenda.”

What residents can do to minimise discolouration:

  • If discoloration occurs, run the tap nearest to the meter for several minutes to clear the water.
  • If discoloration persists, please send a customer service request via:
  1. email council@yass.nsw.gov.au
  2. submit a customer service request form via our website: HERE 
  3. phone 6226 1477.
  • All discoloured water complaints received will be attended to by Council water staff. To flush the mains, a street address is required.

Minutes from the December 2020 Council Meeting regarding progress on a new water treatment plant: HERE

 Water quality testing results: HERE

25 January 2021

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