Your water supply in a bushfire

Parts of our service area have been identified as high fire danger areas by the Country Fire Authority (CFA).

Our staff do their best to prepare for any emergencies, but we cannot guarantee uninterrupted supply of town water or to maintain normal pressure during a major fire.

During a major fire, the demand on the town water supply is likely to exceed the capacity of the supply system. This means water pressure is likely to be significantly reduced, or in some cases, without water entirely. This may impact on your ability to fight fires as well.

Loss of electricity may also affect our pumped systems and it might be a while before we’re able to get backup generators in place. Extreme increased demand for water from residents and the CFA during a fire may also cause a loss of pressure or supply.

If a fire affects our infrastructure, we can’t guarantee we will be able to fix it immediately, or guarantee continuity of supply. If this happens, we’ll work with affected residents to provide an alternate supply or advice on what they can do.

If there is a serious bushfire, it may affect the quality of your drinking water. We recommend you boil your drinking water during and after a bushfire until we can confirm it’s safe – we’ll also work to provide advice to affected residents as soon as we can.

What you can do

We encourage residents to be prepared ahead of the fire danger season – you should consider an alternate water supply as part of your bushfire readiness plan, especially if you are in a rural or bushfire-prone area.

Independent water supplies could include water tanks, dams, swimming pools, rubbish or wheelie bins and bathtubs or laundry tubs. You should also consider an independent pump in case you lose power.

On days of significant fire risk (very high, severe, extreme or code red), we encourage you to ensure you have a supply of drinking water available – fill up several large containers and place them in the fridge or a cool place, or fill your bathtub in case of loss of supply. We recommend at least 10 litres per person (one bucket) at a minimum.

Your individual fire plan should identify reliable alternative water sources such as a large dam, irrigation channel, or creek. Only residents who are fully prepared should consider staying to defend their property. The safest option is to leave early and be well away from the threat.

You can find more information from the CFA on preparing for a bushfire.

What we do

We’re continually working to prepare for the bushfire season by getting our people and supply networks ready for extreme conditions.

On days of high fire danger, we have a number of plans in place to ensure our systems can maintain supply, and we have backup systems in place to minimise supply interruptions under normal conditions.

In an emergency, we’ll work with CFA, the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning and other agencies to provide firefighters quick access to hydrants and access to water supply/water carters, and system repairs are carried out as soon as it’s safe to do so.