2B) Improved water taste for communities with systematic issues through targeted investigations and responses

About this project

We source our water from a number of different systems (rivers, channels, storages), which is then treated at water treatment plants across our region. This can lead to variable tastes, depending on where a town’s water is sourced from.
We have spoken to customers and analysed our customer complaint feedback - we recognise that water taste is a very important issue for our customers. However, analysis of the feedback and complaint data does not indicate that any towns consistently have issues, so further research will be carried out to identify affected towns and in turn, improvements will be made where possible.
We want to make sure our customers are satisfied with the taste of their water, so we are working with local residents to further understand any issue and its cause. We also know taste issues can be event-driven.

Actions to date

In year one of the price period we have engaged with a number of communities, undertaking taste and odour testing at our water cafés (see below).
As a result, we have narrowed down our current focus to three towns where data tells us people are experiencing taste issues, which are Pyalong, Seymour and Kyabram.
In the past 12 months, we’ve investigated potential taste issues in depth in these three locations, and analysed historical taste complaint data to understand the issue further.
At this point in the project, the data suggests that it is likely that the majority of taste and odour issues are related to events, such as flooding and blackwater issues, or large-scale blue-green algae blooms.

What's next?

We will be carrying out a review into any current or potential education or proactive communication activities where an event may be occuring or about to occur to increase community understanding.

Our accountability for this project

Once the engagement program is established, any towns with systemic taste issues (non-event driven) will be informed of the timing for improvements.
In the event of the improvement commitments not being in place by their deadlines, a GSL credit of $25 per year per affected customer will be made for each year of the delay.

For this information in PDF form, click here to download the factsheet (PDF: 732.6KB)