From catchment to customer, the journey your water takes to get from the environment to your tap is a complex system of underground pipes, pumps, treatment systems, reservoirs and dams.
Raw water is collected in our catchment areas, treated to meet the health-based Australian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines and requirements of the Tasmania Public Health Act (this excludes a small number of systems which are not supplied as potable water) and piped to storage areas such as reservoir storage.
The water is then distributed to households and businesses through a reticulated network of underground pipes and pump stations.
To build, monitor and maintain these systems, expensive and constant investment in infrastructure upgrades and renewals is needed. There are many towns with pipes that in some cases are over 100 years old and must be upgraded to ensure the provision of good quality drinking water.
TasWater will continue to invest in our water infrastructure with the objective of all customers receiving safe drinking water that meets Australian standards.
Frequently asked questions
Chlorine taste or smell
Chlorine is added to public water supplies to provide protection from potentially harmful bacteria. Chlorine levels are maintained to balance water disinfection and taste.
At time you may notice a taste or smell of chlorine in your water which is normal. However, if you notice a significant increase of smell or taste and are concerned, please phone TasWater on 13 6992 for more information.
Taste and odour
The taste and odour of water can vary from tap to tap. This may be caused by naturally occuring elements, treatment processes, works in your area and the state of your internal pipes and taps. Drinking water contains small amounts of naturally occuring minerals including Manganese, Magnesium and Iron. Other elements are added to ensure water is appropriately treated and is safe for drinking purposes. Regular testing is conducted to ensure water meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and the Tasmanian Public Health Act (1997).
Cloudy, milky or bubbly water
Air bubbles can cause water to have a cloudy or milky appearance. Water is distributed under pressure through our water pipes, and when it reaches your tap, the pressure is released and may result in air bubbles in your water. If air bubbles are causing a cloudy or milky appearance in your water, this is harmless and will disappear as the air rises out of your glass from bottom to top.
Dirty or discoloured water
In older buildings, discolouring in the water can be a sign of rusting galvanised iron pipes in your internal plumbing. This will usually be most obvious first thing in the morning or after extended periods of no water use. Iron or sediments in the water may also give it a dirty appearance. If you experience yellow-coloured water or water that appears dirty, turn your tap on full for at least 30 seconds to flush out the impacted water before use. If the problem persists, you may wish to consult a plumber or contact TasWater for assistance.
Blue-green staining on household bathroom fittings is a sign of copper corrosion. Staining or bluish water can occur when water is stagnant in pipes for an extended period, in new or corroding pipes, or as a result of older household electrical wiring being earthed to a copper pipe. If you experience blue-green staining on bathroom fittings, turn your tap on full for at least 30 seconds to flush out the impacted water before use. If the problem persists, you may wish to consult a plumber, electrician or contact TasWater for assistance. Fixing dripping taps may help reduce localised staining.
Water with a metallic taste is most likely a sign of corroding plumbing in older galvanised iron and copper pipe works in your home. A metallic taste is mostly likely to occur first thing in the morning or after extended periods of no water use. If you experience a metallic taste in your water, turn your tap on full for at least 30 seconds to flush out the stagnant water. The water will be replaced with fresh water from our reticulated water supply. If the problem persists, you may wish to consult a plumber or contact TasWater for assistance.
TasWater is directed to fluoridate drinking water supplies by the Minister of Health in accordance with the Fluoridation Act 1968. For more information see our FAQ here and a statement from the CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council here.