Seasonal algae affects Terang and Warrnambool water supplies

13 April 2018

Wannon Water is closely monitoring the levels of naturally occurring algae in raw water storages that affect the taste and odour of both Terang and Warrnambool’s drinking water supplies.

Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said that, while the water remains safe to drink, algae levels in the raw water supply at the Ewens Hill storage and some Warrnambool storages have increased as a result of seasonal conditions. This means that some customers may notice a temporary change in the taste and odour of the drinking water.

“This is not uncommon at this time of year as algae thrives in warm, dry conditions. Similar events occurred within the Warrnambool catchment last month, and are occurring at a number of other locations across Victoria at present,” Mr Jeffers said.

Mr Jeffers said any material, such as algae and suspended particles, is removed from the raw water during treatment at both the Terang and Warrnambool water treatment plants.

“Although some customers may potentially notice a temporary earthy taste or odour in the coming days, the water is safe to drink and complies with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines,” Mr Jeffers said. 

He said the issue at Terang is not related to the Cobrico peat fire, which is burning nearby.

“We can assure customers that no contamination event has occurred at Ewens Hill,” Mr Jeffers said.

“These events at Warrnambool and Terang are a naturally occurring condition within our raw water storages under certain seasonal conditions.

“Wannon Water is actively working to minimise the algal issues through several measures, including changing the source of water and making some minor adjustments to the treatment process.

“We thank customers for their understanding and patience.”

“We urge anyone with concerns to call us on 1300 926 666.”