Treated Water Supplies

Treated Water Supplies

If you are on mains water, your drinking water is supplied by the Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Corporation - TasWater

TasWater is responsible for providing safe drinking water that meets the requirements of the:

How do I know if it's safe to drink?

Most people in Tasmania receive good or excellent quality drinking water that is safe to drink.

If you want to check it is safe, you can:

  • contact TasWater first on 13MYWATER (136992)
  • download the latest Annual Drinking Water Quality Report issued by the Director of Public Health These reports provide an assessment of each water supply management plan, their testing regime, compliance rates, boil water alerts and public health alerts.

How can my water become unsafe?

There are broadly two groups of health-related aspects associated with drinking water.

  • Microbiological aspects cover all pathogens, which includes bacteria, viruses and protozoan. Microbial risk in drinking water is identified by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines as being the greatest risk to public health.
  • Chemical/physical aspects of drinking water cover all chemicals (including pesticides) that are both man made and naturally occurring. Depending on the level of chemical detected, chemical contamination can have adverse health impacts. Water containing either microbial or chemical contamination at levels above the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines should not be ingested by humans or animals. Caution should be exercised when using contaminated water for watering vegetable gardens.

Radiological contamination also needs to be given consideration - although this is extremely rare in Tasmania.

What happens if my water becomes unsafe?

If drinking water quality becomes a risk to public health, TasWater must take immediate corrective action. Most commonly, the source of the contamination is quickly removed or treated.

Boil water alerts

At times of microbial contamination, a temporary boil water alert is issued by TasWater and the Director of Public Health.

Boiling water effectively kills the pathogens associated with contamination and renders it safe for drinking. It should be noted that boiling of water does not remove chemical contamination. How do I boil water effectively?

Public Health Alerts

At times of chemical contamination which pose a significant risk to public health, a temporary public health alert may be issued by TasWater and the Director of Public Health. A public health alert means that the water cannot be consumed, even after boiling. When a public health alert is issued, TasWater will provide an alternate supply of safe clean drinking water to residents

Plumbing issues

TasWater is responsible for providing safe drinking water to the customer water meter. All sampling regimes are from within the reticulation network and do not extend onto private property.

The maintenance and management of the private plumbing of a residence is the responsibility of the property owner. It is possible that old internal plumbing can deteriorate water quality and in some cases make it unsafe to drink.

If you have concerns about your internal plumbing, then contact your local council plumbing section or engage a qualified plumber at your own expense.

Remember to flush your taps

Only use water taken straight from the cold water tap inside the home for drinking or cooking.

Never drink from a hot water tap as the water in hot water systems generally contains more dissolved minerals and metals due to the heating process.

Water that has been standing in your home's plumbing for extended periods can dissolve metals such as copper and traces of lead from these pipes and taps.

When taps have not been used in the house overnight, it is a good idea to flush the water before drinking or cooking for at least 30 seconds and for at least two minutes if the taps have not been used for a while such as on return from a holiday.

This will lower the levels of copper and other metals that may be present in the water.

October 2018