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Don’t drink the water

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Water supplied by Southern Rural Water is NOT fit for human consumption without being properly treated.

Water supplied or taken from a groundwater or surface water resource managed by Southern Rural Water is untreated water for domestic and stock or irrigation use only.

Under the Water Act 1989, this means it can be used for:

  • Household purposes (except for such things as drinking, food preparation, making ice, or cleaning teeth),
  • Water for pets,
  • Water for cattle or other stock, and
  • Irrigation of a kitchen garden.

It does not include use for dairies, piggeries, feedlots, poultry or any other intensive or commercial use.

Any trusts, organisations or individuals supplying water to customers for domestic purposes, either through domestic and stock or licence entitlements, must advise their own customers that it is not treated and not suitable for human consumption.

Water supplied to some of our facilities (eg taps in parks at our storages) is also untreated and not suitable for human consumption. Visitors should check our signage before using any water at our facilities.


Water Safety  – irrigation channels

We ask all members of the community not to swim in our irrigation channels or drink any water supplied by us.

Southern Rural Water distributes water to irrigators through automated channel networks. The volume of water flowing in these channels is regulated by a series of automated doors and gates that can open or close at any time, causing danger for swimmers.

Please visit one of our recreational facilities or the local pool and follow safe swimming rules.

Water from any source managed by Southern Rural Water is untreated and for domestic and stock or irrigation use only. It should not be used for human consumption without first being properly treated.


Groundwater quality

Environment Protection Authority Victoria has made existing information about groundwater quality easier to find via an interactive web tool on its website.

You can easily search a map of Victoria to locate a ‘groundwater quality restricted use zone’.

These are areas where there has been historic groundwater pollution as a result of previous industrial activity.


Safe Drinking Water Report

While Southern Rural Water does not supply water for direct human consumption, it does supply water to other water corporations who treat the water and then provide it to residential customers.

As a supplier of water to urban water corporations, we must prepare and implement Safe Drinking Water Risk Management Plans under the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2005.

The plans are reviewed by an external auditor, with a report submitted to the Department of Health.

We also produce an Annual Safe Drinking Water Report, see below: