Environment & Waste

Managing Drinking Water Quality at Home

The quality of drinking water can change once it leaves council’s distribution system and enters the plumbing on private property. To help you keep your drinking water quality in top condition, we've listed below some common causes for water quality deterioration and tips to prevent it.

Know your internal plumbing

Internal Pipes

If a property is fitted with corroding Galvanised Pipes or plumbing fixtures the drinking water may be affected e.g. taste, discolouration and/or odour.

Council recommends replacing old corroded pipes with new ones made from an alternative material such as copper, stainless steel or polyethylene.

While council accepts responsibility for the maintenance, repair and renewal of the water supply system up to the water meter on private property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the plumbing and drainage on their property. This includes all fittings, pipes and rainwater tanks.

Council highly recommends that a licensed plumber carry out any plumbing work required within private property. The plumber should also provide a certificate of compliance once the work is completed.

The validity of a plumber's licence can be checked on the Department of Fair Trading's Website.

The Master Plumbers Association of NSW Website also has a list of licensed plumbers. 

Beware of backflow

A sudden loss of pressure in the water supply system (e.g. from a burst water main) can cause water to flow out of private property into the system.

This reverse flow—known as backflow—can draw potentially contaminated water from private property into the drinking water supply. This could happen if, for example, one end of a garden hose is left sitting in a bucket of liquid fertiliser when a water main breaks.

Contaminated water could be sucked back through the hose into the home's plumbing and the water supply system servicing the community.

To eliminate the risk of contamination, council's Backflow Prevention Policy requires that a suitable Backflow Prevention device  is installed at the meter for all properties connected to the water supply.

All water meters on low hazard, single residential properties are currently being replaced with integrated backflow devices as part of council's Water Meter Replacement Program. Backflow devices are also being installed on residential properties where a rainwater tank can be 'topped-up' from the water supply system.

Clean taps regularly

The tap in your kitchen can become contaminated with invisible bacteria from food or items washed in the sink. These bacteria can transfer into water as it leaves the tap causing drinking water quality to deteriorate.

It is important that taps used for drinking water are kept clean and food is never allowed to come into contact with the end of the tap.

Maintain water filters

Although it is not necessary, some people prefer to use water filters in their homes to filter their drinking water before consumption. There are several different kinds of domestic water filters and jug filters available on the market, each designed to remove various compounds from drinking water.

Filters can create a perfect environment for bacteria to grow and pass through your taps into your drinking water. To avoid contamination, council recommends changing filter cartridges regularly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

The water produced by filters should be treated as a perishable good, like food, and used as soon as possible. It is best stored in a refrigerator and should be discarded after 24 hours.

Help us help you

We want to hear from you! We would like to know if you experience drinking water quality issues, such as discoloured water, taste or odour; and if you notice an improvement in the quality of your drinking water. Council can be contacted regarding water quality issues 24 hours a day on (02) 4325 8222.

Council understands that some people have special water supply needs due to medical reasons. If you have special health care needs, you can be placed on a dedicated stakeholder list by calling council during business hours on the number above.

Bogus callers

From time to time we hear from customers concerned about phone calls from people claiming to work for or on behalf of Gosford City Council.

Bogus callers often call to discuss local drinking water quality, offer water quality tests and sell water filtration units.

These individuals do not represent or act on behalf of council and we do not endorse these companies or their products.

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