Don’t rely on town water system in an emergency

With thoughts of bushfire on the forefront of people’s minds at the moment, Gippsland’s four water corporations are reminding customers household water supply systems should not be relied upon in times of emergency.

“Our systems are simply not designed to provide firefighting capability to a community under threat,” Paul Clark, representing Westernport Water, South Gippsland Water, Gippsland Water and East Gippsland Water, said.

“This is because town water systems are designed to cater for everyday domestic drinking water needs and may not cope with bushfire events.

“If a large number of homeowners are filling buckets, hosing down properties or putting out embers on their property, not only will reserves be drawn down but pressure at the tap is also likely to fall away.”

Mr Clark said while the water authorities prepare for summer by maintaining its infrastructure and sites, one of the other key things it does is to ensure customers are aware of the limitations of the system in a bushfire.

“We are unable to guarantee water pressure or an uninterrupted supply in a bushfire event,” he said.

“Being prepared is key and that includes having as much information as possible.”

Homeowners who decide to stay and defend their property should have a carefully considered bushfire plan in line with County Fire Authority guidelines.

The CFA recommends home owners who choose to stay and defend their property have at least 10,000 litres of water available as well as firefighting hoses and a generator to pump water should mains power be interrupted.

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