Ballarat residents’ tap water passes safety audit

WHEN Ballarat residents drink water from their taps, it is assumed it is healthy and safe. 

Luckily for those residents, Central Highlands Water keeps a close on eye on water quality for the district and just recently passed a biennial drinking water audit with flying colours. 

This audit includes examining water treatment processes, laboratory testing, employee training and computerised monitoring equipment and burst water main procedures. 

These audits are completed once every two years, but water samplers head out daily to test water from across the Ballarat district. 

Water sampler Heidi Rosenow has been collecting water samples for the past three years.

“The tests are random, we get given a sheet that represents a tank and then we run a test on a house that is representative of that tank,” she said.

“I think people appreciate the fact they see people like us getting around, checking all these things.” 

Ms Rosenow said the samples she collected were taken back to a Central Highlands Water lab to be tested for bacteria and to make sure it is OK for drinking. 

Manager of lab services Geoff Cramer said a variety of tests were completed once the samples returned, and they took anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to complete. 

“The water treatment plants were set up in the early 2000s so the water is very safe and regularly meets all the requirements set upon us by the Department of Health but the other aspect is that we need to make sure the community is confident in the safety of the water,” he said. 

“The community doesn’t see bacteria, they judge the water on how it looks in a glass and how it smells and that sort of thing.” 

The water sampling can occur as far north as Maryborough and as far south as Skipton.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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