Foster – Water safe to drink, discoloured water during main replacement works

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

“South Gippsland Water wishes to apologise to customers in Foster for recent discoloured water issues for the township.  Please be assured that whilst the water may be discoloured, it is safe to drink and the Corporation is actively taking steps to prevent and remove the discoloured water”, South Gippsland Water’s Managing Director, Philippe du Plessis said.

Philippe went onto say that, “The colour is due to the presence of a naturally-occurring mineral, known as manganese. Normally manganese sediments settle to the bottom of the pipe reticulation network where they don’t cause problems for our customers.  As a result of recent mains replacement works and hydrant use, changes to pressure and flows within the system, sediments have been stirred up and entered the flow to customers’ taps.  The manganese sediments tend to give the water a yellow through to brown or “dirty” appearance”.

While it is not advisable to drink water that is badly coloured or dirty-looking, manganese is not toxic when consumed at low concentrations typically present in tap water.  It is actually an essential mineral required in our diets for good health and present in many foods and drinks, including tea.

Customers that experience coloured tap water are encouraged to please call South Gippsland Water on 1300 851 636.  A field technician can then be sent to flush the water main supplying the property and release the coloured water and sediments from the system.  If you are doing laundry and notice that the water contains particles or has a taint to it, leave the laundry items in the machine or tub; do not spin or hang out to dry as this will set stains that may have formed.  South Gippsland Water can supply you with a product to add to the water to prevent staining.

In closing Mr du Plessis said, “Summer conditions have presented challenges for water treatment this year, please be assured that we are working hard to ensure maximum possible removal of manganese at the treatment plant.  Once this has been achieved, a full system flush of the entire Foster reticulation system will be carried out.  This is expected to occur within the next few weeks.  We thank you for your patience”.

For further information, please refer to the water treatment, water quality and FAQ sections of our website.