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About water

Drinking Water

Testing | What we test for | Operational Monitoring

Wannon Water has a comprehensive management framework for maintaining high quality drinking water. This includes an audited risk identification and management approach to water supply and catchment management and requires regular water testing and monitoring.

View Wannon Water's Drinking Water Quality Policy.

Testing

Wannon Water conducts over 100,000 tests each year throughout the region from source waters through to treatment plants and up to the customer's tap. These tests are cover more than 200 test parameters (summarised below). Compliance to the health standards in the Australian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines (2011) is the minimal water quality standard Wannon Water aims to supply to its customers.

To view the most recent monthly water quality data, visit the Water Quality Test Results page.

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What we test for

Risks to health

Organic and inorganic chemicals
Wannon Water measures a range of chemicals to ensure the health risks in water supplies are minimised. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines specify the limits for human health on a large number of parameters. Metals, radionuclides, hydrocarbons, herbicides, pesticides and a range of disinfection by-products from water treatment are all monitored, along with many other organic and inorganic chemicals.
 
Microbial tests
The most common and widespread health risk associated with drinking water is contamination by human or animal excreta. Pathogenic (disease causing) microorganisms of most concern include bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

Escherichia coli (E.coli)
E.coli are bacteria found only in the intestinal track of humans and warm blooded animals and, therefore, an indication of recent faecal contamination. The presence of E.coli in water should be acted on immediately. 

Coliforms
Coliforms and plate counts are also monitored and considered indicative of the effectiveness of the treatment process.

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Taste, odour and appearance

Physical parameters
Physical parameters are largely influential to the taste, odour and appearance of water. Turbidity is the cloudiness of water caused by small particles. pH can affect the taste of water and have a corrosive influence on infrastructure. Hardness and alkalinity can influence the taste and 'feel' of water, affecting the ability to build-up a lather when using soap and can also influence the taste. Total dissolved solids and colour of the water are also measured.

Chemical monitoring
Chemicals from source waters can also affect the aesthetic properties of water. Iron and manganese are inorganic elements that occur naturally in soils and can cause staining on clothes and sinks. Organic matter from decaying plant matter in streams gives a colour to water, which may cause staining.

Algae monitoring
Algae can impact significantly on taste and odour. Blue-green algal species can also produce potentially harmful toxins. Algae species and abundance are regularly monitored.

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Operational monitoring

Wannon Water also undertakes numerous tests to asses the effectiveness of treatment. Monitoring disinfection by-products, physical parameters such as turbidity, and pH can aid in assessing any operational issues with treatment and give a good indication of how effective the treatment process is.

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