A lot happens behind the scenes to ensure that every time you turn on the tap, you enjoy some of the best quality water in the world.

But occasionally, customers notice a change in one of the following:

  • Colour

  • Taste

  • Smell

Cloudy/white water

White water is due to tiny, harmless air bubbles and usually goes away by itself.

  • Aeration from your hot water service.
  • Air trapped in water pipes during maintenance activities.

Test if the white water is due to air bubbles by filling a glass and leaving it to sit for an hour or so. The white appearance will clear, usually from the bottom upwards. If the problem doesn’t go away, contact us to get it sorted.

Brown water

If your water is brown, it may contain rust or natural sediment and organic material. It might not be nice to look at but don’t worry, it’s still safe.

  • Stirred up sediment.
  • Ageing galvanised wrought iron (GWI) pipes on your property.
  • If the water is brown at your front tap, it’s likely the colour is from stirred up sediment in the main water pipes.
  • Turn off all the taps on your property, and then run your front tap on full for no more than two minutes to clear the problem.
  • If the water doesn’t clear, contact us for advice.

Blue/green water

This happens when copper is released from copper pipes into your water. You might also notice a metallic taste.

  • Corroding copper pipes within your home.
  • To observe the copper level in tap water, run 2-3 litres of water at full flow into a clean white container first thing in the morning. Then, leave it to stand for a few seconds. If the water looks blue or you see blue particles, the copper level may be near or above 2 mg/L. Water with a copper level higher than this amount shouldn’t be consumed or used for food preparation.

  • Flush your affected taps first thing in the morning, or if you haven’t used them for a while, until the water runs clear—water is usually fine to use when it’s clear.

  • If you’re worried about the copper pipes in your home, contact us for advice.

Taste and smell problems

From time to time, you might notice your water tastes or smells different. Usually, it’s totally normal.

  • The different places our water comes from.

  • A build-up of sediment or organic matter in the mains.

  • A metallic taste may be due to rusting or corroding of internal piping.

  • Chlorination to ensure our water is safe to drink.

  • See the sections on brown and blue water for information on sediment and pipes.
  • To remove the chlorine smell, fill a jug with water and allow it to stand for a couple of hours, enabling the chlorine to dissipate. If you’re still worried contact us to investigate.

Need a plumber?

If you have a water or sewerage issue on your property, contact a licensed plumber to fix it for you. South East Water Priority Plumbing is on hand to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

1300 760 306

Problem still not solved?

Our Faults and Emergencies team are here to help.

Keeping things crystal clear

We take water quality seriously. Find out where your water comes from and answers to other frequently asked questions.

What’s happening in your area

We’re always working to keep your water flowing. Keep up to date with emergency works, planned improvements, outages and maintenance work in your area.