Cleaning Pipes to Improve Water Quality

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Agnes River Water Supply System Air Scouring Program | 22nd October – 12th November 2018

South Gippsland Water regularly cleans water supply pipe networks to remove any build-up of manganese and other sediments from the pipe network. The occurrence of these build-ups can lead to discoloured water from time to time.  Starting on the 22nd October, South Gippsland Water will commence a thorough clean of the Agnes River Water Supply System and the townships of Toora, Welshpool, Port Welshpool, Barry Beach, Hedley, Port Franklin and Bennison.

The program will commence in the Eastern townships of Welshpool, Port Welshpool, Barry Beach and Headly before moving to Toora, Port Franklin and Bennison areas and is anticipated to take approximately 3 weeks to complete.

A key aim of this program is to remove the manganese mineral deposits from within the low lying sections of pipe lines. ‘Air Scouring involves bringing air and water together under pressure and pushed through the pipes in waves to remove mineral deposits. Air scouring is the most water efficient method of cleaning the pipe network.

South Gippsland Water’s reservoir and water supply catchments are prone to high levels of a natural occurring mineral, manganese.  The levels of the manganese mineral found in local catchments is not a significant health concern, but does lead to discoloured or brown looking water.

Manganese is an element that occurs naturally in rocks, soils and commonly found in the rivers and streams supplying water to South Gippsland’s small local water supply systems.  When dissolved in water manganese is clear and not noticeable, however when it oxidises (combines with air) it transforms to a solid state and appears as fine brown and black particles.

Whilst aesthetically unpleasant, water is safe to drink and bathe in and drinking water supplied by South Gippsland Water meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and the Safe Drinking Water Regulations.

Properties subject to water supply interruption will be given a notification card with a minimum of 5 days notice to businesses and 3 days’ notice to residential customers, road side signage will also be in place. South Gippsland Water aims to reduce inconvenience to customers as much as possible and have scheduled some works to be carried out overnight.

For customers notified of a service interruption, on these days, customers are advised to store water for their daily needs. Customers should avoid using water, including all water appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers and toilet cisterns.

After 3.30pm turn a tap on at the front or rear of your property until the water runs clear.

You may wish to close the stop tap on days that water is being affected in your area. The stop tap is usually located next to the water meter.  Air scouring is likely to stir up sediments and may create some pockets of discoloured water as mineral deposits are removed from the walls of pipes.

For customers wishing to follow the progress, regular updates will be posted on our website (, Facebook and Twitter pages. Customers can also call the Customer Service Team on 1300 851 636 to discuss any concerns regarding their water quality or the mains cleaning program in more detail.