Wannon Water investigates options to improve water quality in Portland, Port Fairy and Heywood

27 October 2017

Wannon Water supplies water to 36 towns and communities via 14 water supply systems within our region.

These systems are diverse in nature, including surface systems such as rivers and streams, deep geothermal groundwater systems (known as aquifers), and shallow aquifer systems.

Our priority and obligation has always been to provide safe drinking water to our customers every day.

We understand that the experience of taste, smell, appearance and hardness of water is not uniform across our supply systems, and that there is also variation in customer perception within the same systems.

Water in Portland, Port Fairy and Heywood is supplied from a deep aquifer and, although it is safe and secure, we acknowledge there are lower rates of customer satisfaction with the taste compared to our other towns.

Groundwater naturally contains many natural minerals which can affect the water’s taste and smell.

During the preparation of our 2018-2023 Price Submission, we recently engaged with a large number of customers to obtain their opinions. One of the top priorities they identified was a need for improvements to the taste, smell and hardness of water.

Wannon Water is planning to invest $7 million in our water treatment infrastructure across the region over the five-year period. This includes investigating options to improve water quality for customers in Portland, Port Fairy and Heywood.

Whilst the water is safe, we recognise that taste and the hardness of the water are important factors for customers.  Taste can impact on water consumption, which has a link to general health and wellbeing, and hardness can impact the lifetime of appliances.

In terms of the safety of our water supplies, Wannon Water exceeded the state average in 2015/16, reporting 100% compliance for all parameters under the Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2015.

We undertook more than 45,000 individual water tests to confirm the safety of our products, with around 19,000 of these directly occurring at customer taps.

For further information about the taste, odour and smell or water see our frequently asked questions here