Boil water alerts lifted for more Tasmanian towns

TasWater has announced that boil water alerts for Wayatinah, Colebrook and Epping Forest have been lifted following the completion of pipelines and a new water treatment plant.

“Just last month I had the pleasure of announcing the lifting of boil water alerts for Gladstone and Cornwall. Now we can celebrate for another 300 residents in three regional towns who will be able to drink their water straight from the tap,” TasWater CEO, Mike Brewster, said.

“In August 2016, TasWater committed to removing all long standing public health notices in regional towns across Tasmania by the end of August this year.

“The road has been a long one; it’s not just a case of building a new water treatment plant and plugging it in. These systems have to be reviewed, designed to suit the community and then construction can begin on all necessary infrastructure to service these regional areas with drinking water.

“The underground pipes in many of these towns also underwent thorough cleaning, and in some cases replacement, to ensure the water stays safe all the way to our customers.”

The final step is a stringent testing procedure by TasWater and the Department of Health to make sure the water meets Tasmanian and Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

“Now that the boil water alerts for Wayatinah, Colebrook and Epping Forest have been lifted we are well on our way to achieving our promise.  Eighteen public health alerts have been lifted since August 2016, and TasWater is on track to remove the remaining ten towns by the end of next month,” Mr Brewster said.

Wayatinah sources its water from Lake Liapootah and previously passed through a coarse filter and was chlorinated for disinfection. The water supply experienced quality issues and has been subject to a boil water alert for many years.

The new water treatment plant installed at the existing pump station site now incorporates many levels of treatment including ultrafiltration, carbon filtration and disinfection to ensure the tap water meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Further east in the Coal River Valley, the township of Colebrook is now receiving safe treated drinking water through a newly constructed pipeline, sourcing water from the nearby Campania Reservoir.

Colebrook’s Boil Water Alert was put in place in June 2016 following a severe weather event resulting in high turbidity levels in Yarlington Dam which supplied the town at the time. The water supply is now being sourced from the Bryn Estyn Water Treatment Plant which supplies a large area of Southern Tasmania including parts of Hobart.

TasWater contractor Zinfra installed the pipeline for Colebrook as well as a new pipeline connecting the settlement of Epping Forest to a Water Treatment Plant at the nearby town of Conara.

Epping Forest is located on the Midland Highway around 40km south of Launceston. The water supply was originally sourced from the South Esk River, undergoing disinfection only, with the water quality consistently compromised by turbidity during periods of high rainfall.

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