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Yass Water Updates

Monday, 10 February 2020

We have enjoyed significant rainfall across our Yass Dam water catchment area over the past few days with more expected to come.

While this is great news for our farmers and dam levels, it is likely that the visual quality of our water will be adversely impacted when sediment and material is washed into the river system that feeds the Yass Dam.

If you experience discoloured water, we advise you to run your tap and if discolouration continues contact Council on 6226 1477. Our staff will flush the main outside of your property as quickly as possible. Where possible, Council will collect any water lost through flushing we perform and return it to the Yass Dam or use it on a nearby green space.

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 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.

What about my water meter?

The meter measures how much water you use. We use this information to accurately bill you for the water used at your property. The meter’s rotary piston has a number register connected to it that records your water use.

For more information on your water meter, see Water Billing.

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Yass Valley Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Yass Valley Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Yass Valley Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Yass Valley Council information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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