Water quality issues

Our comprehensive monitoring and maintenance programs ensure our residents and visitors enjoy water of the highest quality. However, occasionally external factors can alter water quality. We have programs in place to notify customers about water quality issues. We've also identified some of the more common water problems.

Jump down to your water quality issue:

Issue notification

We issue notifications as soon as we become aware of water quality issues.

  • Direct notifications go to:
    • customers who use large quantities of water
    • people with are highly dependent on water, such as dialysis patients
    • businesses.
  • Other customers are notified via community announcements and on our website.

Common water quality issues

Browse through some commonly identified water quality issues to identify and address them.

Chemical or solvent taste / odour

Various chemicals and substances commonly used around the home or in the yard can penetrate polyethylene drinking water service lines.

This can contaminate your water supply and cause a noticeably strong taste and/or odour in your water.

These service lines are Australian standard and run to your home from the pipeline in the street.

Accidental or deliberate spilling of chemicals in your yard can result in leaching of these chemicals through soil and permeation through polyethylene pipes into your water supply.

In most cases, water with a strong taste or odour will become unacceptable to drink before the level of chemicals becomes a health concern.

If you are concerned that your family's health may be affected by consuming contaminated drinking water, contact us on 07 5667 5801 or 1300 000 928.

Discoloured water

Discoloured water looks brown or muddy and can stain when washing. It is an irregular occurrence caused mainly by a natural element called manganese which collects on the inside of pipes.

During times of high demand or changes in flow, these films can loosen, causing water to appear stained or dirty. While water may look brown, it will not cause illness if consumed.

Run the outside tap at the back of your property for around 15 minutes to resolve the issue.

If the water does not clear after flushing, contact us on 07 5667 5801 or 1300 000 928.

We treat the problem by undertaking substantial flushing of the pipe system in affected areas.

If using your washing machine, we recommend:

  • running water into the machine to check the colour before washing
  • checking the water colour before the machine reaches the rinse cycle - this is when clothes can be stained.

Earthy or musty taste / odour

Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) is responsible for an earthy or musty taste/odour in water.

Cyanobacteria can cause algal blooms by feeding on nutrients washed into waterways, or from nutrients released from sediments.

Algal blooms are likely to form when:

  • the water is relatively still
  • nutrients levels are high
  • temperatures remain warm
  • high rainfall has resulted in nutrients being washed from the catchment into the dam.

Dams and catchments are managed by Seqwater. Current technology is highly effective in treating water affected by a bloom, making it safe and palatable to drink.

In bloom situations, carbon is injected into the raw water to remove the taste of algae. If the bloom species is found to be toxic, a combination of flocculation, filtration, chlorination and activated carbon are used to inactivate the toxin.

Cloudy, milky or white water

The milky or cloudy appearance of water is usually due to tiny air bubbles in the water.

This can occur when air is trapped in the pipes after they have been repaired.

It can also occur if carbon dioxide is released by the sudden reduction in pressure with a tap discharging.

Air in water is harmless and a glass of white water will quickly clear.

Blue or green water

Blue water may have a cloudy, blue tinged appearance. It can taste bitter and metallic. In most cases it comes from copper pipe that has not been used for some time and has become slightly corroded.

Blue or green water may contain high levels of copper and should not be used for drinking or food preparation.

To solve this problem, flush the affected taps for one to two minutes before use. Testing shows that within seconds of flushing, copper levels drop to well below guideline limits.

Chlorine and fluoride

Chlorine and fluoride are added to drinking water by Seqwater during the water treatment process.

Chlorine is used to control potentially pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.

Fluoride is added as a safe and effective way to reduce tooth decay.

Black specks

Black specks in water are caused by degradation of internal plumbing such as washers, gaskets and O-rings. They are categorised as small particles similar to cracked pepper that do not dissolve and can stick to and smear on surfaces.

If you are experiencing black specks in your drinking water, we recommend you contact a licensed plumber to investigate the issue.