Monday, January 8th, 2024
On Wednesday, January 3, South Gippsland Water received three sample results from January 2, detecting low levels of E. coli, a type of bacteria indicating potential contamination, in the Poowong-Loch-Nyora system. Following consultation with the Department of Health, South Gippsland Water issued a Boil Water Advisory for the towns of Poowong, Loch, and Nyora. This does not affect any other systems or towns.
Managing Director, Robert Murphy, emphasised that the health and safety of customers were at the centre of this decision.
“Our decision to issue a Boil Water Advisory wasn’t one we took lightly. We know the effects it has on our community, from businesses to individual households, and to our workforce. An Advisory was the best way forward, as we do not to take risks with the health of our customers,” he said.
Mr Murphy said that South Gippsland Water is working closely with the Department of Health to identify conditions that will enable the Boil Water Advisory to be rescinded. The Boil Water Advisory is expected to last at least until the end of the week, with an update to be provided on Friday 12 January.
“We don’t take risks with public health. Over the next few days, we ask that our customers continue to boil their water or fill up their food-grade containers from our water trailers. The Boil Water Advisory will only be lifted once we are fully confident that there is no E. coli in the Poowong-Loch-Nyora system. We want to thank the Poowong-Loch-Nyora community for working with us and for remaining patient as we conduct further testing and continue corrective measures,” he said.
Water trailers will remain available throughout the whole Boil Water Advisory period at Nyora Recreational Reserve, Poowong Recreational Reserve, Main Street Loch, and Speight Street in Loch. These water trailers will be staffed on a sporadic basis throughout business hours.
Mr Murphy says, “We are pleased to advise that the first steps of the corrective actions have now been completed. Flushing will continue over the next couple of days to draw fresh water through the distribution system. Following flushing of the whole system, samples will be collected from various points in the Poowong-Loch-Nyora system to re-test for E. Coli and other water quality parameters. When these water quality results show that the water is safe for consumption, we will be able to lift the Boil Water Advisory.”
To stay up to date, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram or visit our website sgwater.com.au. For further questions, please call our service centre on 1300 851 636.
BOIL WATER FAQs:
Customers should bring water to a rolling boil by heating it until a continuous and rapid stream of air bubbles is produced from the bottom of a pan or kettle. Electric kettles/jugs with automatic cut-off switches are suitable for producing boiled water. Variable temperature kettles should be set to boil. Allow boiled water to cool before using it. Cooled, boiled water may be stored in clean closed containers for later use.
Customers should boil all water used for:
- Drinking and preparing beverages;
- Brushing teeth, gargling, and cleaning/soaking dentures;
- Washing and preparing food;
- Preparing baby formula;
- Making ice;
- Drinking water for pets.
Unboiled water can be used for:
- Showering and bathing (but residents should avoid swallowing water. As a precaution, babies and young children should be sponge-bathed);
- Washing dishes by hand or in a dishwasher, providing dishes are air-dried before being used after washing.
- Stock animals.