Emergency water relief program for bushfire affected residents

If you’re in a Victorian bushfire affected area and without drinking and domestic water supply due to tank contamination, we’ll be your single point of contact to call for help.

How to get in touch

Anyone seeking emergency water help from the bushfire affected areas should call us on 13 18 51 and press 9.


Who’s eligible?

Residents and health facilities (not on reticulated water) in:

  • majority of East Gippsland Shire and Towong Shire
  • some communities in Alpine Shire, Rural City of Wangaratta, Shire of Indigo and Wellington Shire.

For more information you can view a relief drinking boundary map (PDF, 1.46MB). The map is current as of Wednesday 15 January 2020

What you'll receive?

Eligible permanent residents initially in the declared bushfire affected areas will be provided with a tank water flush and top-up of 5,000 litres.

The program doesn't include a tank clean. 

Reducing your risk

All Victorians who may be threatened by bushfire are reminded to reduce the risk of contamination to water tanks by disconnecting the downpipe and covering the tank, if it is safe to do so.

Tank water affected by smoke or ash?

If water tanks outside the affected area are affected by smoke or ash, it’s unlikely to be a health concern. However, if the rainwater tastes, looks or smells unusual, we advise you to use bottled water for drinking, food preparation, brushing teeth and feeding to animals, however continue to use the tank water for all other uses.

Keep in mind

  • Boiling water doesn’t remove fire retardants or other chemicals from your water.
  • Fire affected water in your tank can still be used for irrigation, toilet flushing and fire fighting purposes. Water testing isn't necessary.
  • There are things you can do to protect your private drinking water supply to ensure it is not affected by a bushfire event.

For more information visit Better Health Channel’s Bushfires and your private drinking water supply web page.

More information