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Your health and wellbeing will always be our number one priority

Melbourne Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water apologise for the inconvenience to customers affected by the precautionary Boil Water Advisory notification issued on Friday 28 August.

Thank you for your patience and understanding while we worked to resolve this issue, at what we know is already a challenging time for Melburnians.

Supporting our customers  

If you had to buy bottled water because of this issue, please contact South East Water at [email protected] and Yarra Valley Water at [email protected] to receive a refund.   

As always, we encourage any of our customers experiencing hardship or financial difficulties to contact South East Water on 13 16 94 or Yarra Valley Water for support on 1300 853 811.    

Your water is safe  

Our water quality testing has confirmed that the water supply in all suburbs is safe to drink. We take our commitment to deliver safe drinking water seriously and don’t issue these notifications lightly.  

We issued the Boil Water Advisory notification as your health and wellbeing will always be our number one priority, and we wanted to be extra cautious. 

Protecting your water supply   

Melbourne is one of only a few cities in the world with protected dams and reservoirs. As our water is such high quality, it only needs minimal chlorination. If undisinfected water enters the system, the risk to health is very low.

We take our responsibility to protect your water supply seriously and carry out water quality testing every day to make sure it meets our high standards.  

What happened?  

On Thursday 27 August, a storm caused loss of power at Melbourne Water’s Silvan Reservoir. A generator immediately kicked in and, after successfully running for a number of hours, failed.

This is an extremely rare occurrence.  

Additional generators were brought in and the full water treatment process resumed early Friday.  

As a result of the power outage, there were concerns that undisinfected water had entered some areas of our water network, potentially impacting the quality of drinking water entering customer taps. This affected 98 suburbs across South East Water’s and Yarra Valley Water’s service areas.

We took extensive water samples across the affected suburbs to ensure water is safe to drink.

Once our testing confirmed the water was safe and, following approval of the Department of Health and Human Services, the precautionary Boil Water Advisory was lifted in stages. 

Strengthening our future response   

We’re working together to review our systems, processes and communication approach following this challenging event, to ensure that our emergency response is the best it can be.  

The water segment is committed to ongoing improvement, learning from this experience and ensuring Melburnians continue to enjoy a healthy, high-quality and reliable water supply. 

Stay safe,

Michael Wandmaker

Managing Director,
Melbourne Water

Pat McCafferty

Managing Director,
Yarra Valley Water

Lara Olsen

Managing Director,
South East Water