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Water discoloured but safe to drink

Tuesday 23 February 2021
Some Albury homes and businesses are continuing to experience discoloured water flowing from their taps. Although the water may be discoloured, our extensive testing and sampling program shows the water remains safe to drink.

AlburyCity is working closely with NSW Health to maintain a stringent testing regime to ensure safety remains uncompromised.

The discolouration has been caused by conditions in Lake Hume, from where AlburyCity’s raw water supply is taken.

The water is sourced from a deep point in the lake where a phenomenon called ‘stratification’ means the water at that point is very cold and low in oxygen. The low oxygen causes an increase in manganese and iron levels, which causes the discolouration.

Elevated manganese and iron are unlikely to pose a risk to health.

However, manganese and iron can give water a brown colour and poor taste. It can also cause staining of basins and laundry.

The issue is affecting customers in AlburyCity and Greater Hume Shire Council’s ‘Villages Water Supply Scheme’, and the situation could continue until the weather cools.

Although there is no reason to think the water is unsafe to drink, customers may wish to avoid washing white fabrics to reduce the risk of staining until the problem eases.

Council is continuing to work closely with NSW Health and Water NSW to address the problem and the community will be advised of any changes in the situation.