Boil water alert lifted

Gippsland Water has lifted the boil water alert for Morwell residents following independent water quality test results.

Residents in the affected area of Morwell’s north are no longer required to boil their water for consumption, but they are advised to flush their internal taps for five minutes to ensure their private plumbing is clear of any poor quality water.

Gippsland Water managing director David Mawer said lab test results received on Thursday night and this morning were “all clear” and water was safe to drink.

“These tests results confirm that the water being supplied is now fully compliant with drinking water regulations and safe to drink,” Mr Mawer said.

“We’d like too thank people for their patience, we understand the frustration and concern and we have acted as quickly as we practically can.

The water authority issued the boil water alert for sections of Morwell’s north on Wednesday afternoon following a mains rupture on Saturday.

It spent Wednesday night fixing flow problems, flushing affected systems and boosting the chlorination process.

Gippsland water said initial tests showed the water was safe to drink, but it received lab results on Wednesday from a sample taken on Tuesday indicating an E. coli organism.

Mr Mawer defended Gippsland Water’s approach to issuing information to the community, saying it directly contacted all “critical users” including schools, a hospital and aged care facilities in the area and provided them with bottled water.

He said the authority considered doing a letter box drop, however with about 2800 homes impacted, the “timetable was not effective”.

Mr Mawer said Gippsland Water communicated through its website, social media, along with radio, print and television.

It also set up an information kiosk at Coles, Morwell on Thursday and Friday.

“You find a way to leverage communication channels as best you can,” Mr Mawer said.

During the incident, Gippsland Water received about 60 phonecalls and 60,000 hits on social media.