Water quality

Media release issued Wednesday 19 January 2011


Barwon Water's infrastructure network was fully tested during the recent floods, Managing Director Michael Malouf said today.

Polluted waterways, particularly in some coastal areas, and surcharges from the sewerage system presented challenges for operational personnel across the corporation's service area.

But employees maintained services and ensured adequate drinking water for residents and tourists despite the demanding conditions.

"They are to be commended for managing both water and sewerage systems, which were under intense pressure from floodwaters and heavy rain," Mr Malouf said.

He said Barwon Water's sophisticated treatment facilities were designed to cope with major floods.

"But exceptional circumstances, such as those last week, tested these processes. And while there were a number of problems, we reacted immediately to ensure no major inconvenience to the community.

"Importantly, we continued to deliver high quality water that met stringent standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act."

Barwon Water had extensive water quality monitoring programs while supply sources included protected catchments. These closed catchments reduced the risk of contaminants entering supplies.

"In times of major floods and similar emergencies, providing safe drinking water and safe treatment of sewage are vital to the health of our community. It is also imperative to ensure associated discharges to the environment are minimised," Mr Malouf said.