It matters to you. It matters to us.
We’re serious about making sure your water is safe to drink. Drinking water quality is heavily regulated in Victoria and in Melbourne we’re lucky to have some of the best water in the world.
Measuring water quality
Our monitoring starts when water is first transferred from Melbourne Water to us. From there, we sample it every step of the way (we have over 1,000 sample taps throughout our system) right up to your home or business.
Our quality specialists monitor drinking water 24 hours a day and collect over 8,000 samples each year, analysing things like colour and hardness, as well as for the presence of pathogens like E. coli.
So when you turn on a tap, or press go on your dishwasher, you can be sure that everything’s as it should be.
What makes the water so good?
Melbourne is only one of five major cities in the world with protected catchments like those set aside in the Yarra Ranges over 100 years ago. We're lucky to be able to harvest high quality water that needs minimal treatment, just as you're lucky to have crystal clear water on demand.
Our area is also supplied by two water filtration plants—Tarago and Winneke—that remove sediment and pathogens from the water. After the water is filtered it’s chlorinated, fluoridated and pH adjusted to produce water of the highest quality. This water then travels through the large network of tanks and pipes and doesn’t see the light of day again until it comes out of your tap. This ensures your water doesn’t get contaminated on its journey.
That’s why you can always rely on us for clean and dependable water.
Safe and clean drinking water
What does all this mean? It means that Melbourne’s water is clean and safe to drink. In fact, it’s some of the world’s best drinking water.
So, you don’t need to purchase drinking water from your local shop, you can choose tap water every time.
Other quality considerations
In October 2021 the Federal Government’s Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) issued a guidance statement, about lead in drinking water from some plumbing products.
The guidance describes how lead can dissolve into drinking water from some brass plumbing fittings, especially when they’ve been sitting in contact with water for a long time.
Although enHealth says there’s no need for you to have your water tested for lead, it recommends steps you can take to reduce your potential exposure to lead in drinking water. These include:
using water from cold taps only for drinking and cooking
flushing cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about 30 seconds first thing in the morning to draw fresh water through the tap
flushing cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about two to three minutes after long periods of non-use, such as return from holidays; this ‘flushed’ water can be collected and used for washing up
choosing plumbing products that have been certified to WaterMark and AS/NZS 4020:2005; and/or have low lead content or are lead free, when renovating or building.
Chlorination is really important for delivering safe, quality water. Chlorine has been used effectively around the world for over 100 years to help treat water.
Small amounts of chlorine are added to the water as a disinfectant to kill any waterborne, disease-causing microorganisms (such as pathogens and infectious bacteria) and ensure it's safe to drink. The amounts are tiny—equivalent to less than half a teacup in an average backyard swimming pool.
The taste and smell of chlorine can change with seasonal water demands and the location of your property in relation to the disinfection plant. Colder water temperatures in winter keep a low level of chlorine around longer, while high flows in summer allow the chlorine to reach your taps sooner.
If you can smell chlorine in your water, you can easily and safely remove it by filling a jug with water and putting it in your fridge. The chlorine will naturally dissipate from the water. After a few hours the chlorine will have mostly disappeared.
We are currently experiencing some issues with the address and suburb search function. You can still view a summary of results for all of South East Water on the right. For more information about individual suburbs, you can explore our Drinking Water Quality Report.