TONGALA | 1-3 March 2019 | Estimated timeframe - completed

Update: 3.15pm 3 March 2019

Boil Water Notice Lifted for TONGALA

The boil water notice issued on 1 March for TONGALA has been lifted by Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) after consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, meaning that water can again be consumed without boiling.

GVW General Manager Service Delivery, Daniel Flanagan, said staff had worked around the clock to improve treatment processes and the plant was now making clean, safe water.

Water quality testing was undertaken throughout the event and GVW confirmed through microscopy that the treatment process was removing the algae, however it had impacted the filters. Effective filtration, which is needed to remove other micro-organisms and ensures water is safe to drink, was unable to be guaranteed. Testing today confirmed that the water is again safe to drink.

Thank you to all customers for their understanding and cooperation during the event and to our staff for their huge around the clock efforts to manage the plant and ensure customers had access to the correct messaging and bottled water. 

Update: 9.30am 2 March 2019

Goulburn Valley Water are still working to rectify the issue at the Tongala Water Treatment Plant. Boil Water Notice remains in place. You can use water in line with the Permanent Water Saving Rules, however, please boil all water to be used for drinking or cooking or use where consumption may occur as outlined below. If you are unwell, please visit your doctor and inform them of this notice. 

Bottled water supplies are very low and are likely to run out by this afternoon. If you are unable to boil water for consumption we have a tanker at the recreation reserve. Please bring clean containers to be filled. Boiled water can be used for drinking, preparing beverages, washing and preparing food, preparing baby formula, brushing teeth and making ice (more details below).  Tanker will be available at the recreation reserve Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March from 7.30am to 9pm.

Update 2.30pm
Goulburn Valley Water staff are still working to rectify the issue at the Tongala Water Treatment Plant.

The boil water notice remains in place - and is likely to remain in place for the next couple of days. Bottled water and a water tanker to fill your own container will be available at the recreation reserve Friday 1 March, Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March from 7.30am to 9pm.

You can use water in line with the Permanent Water Saving Rules, however, please boil any  water for drinking or cooking or use where consumption may occur as outlined below.

1.30am

Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) in consultation with the Department of Health & Human Services has issued advice for residents in Tongala to boil their water before using it for drinking and food preparation.


The Tongala water supply system has been impacted by the presence of algae in the raw (untreated) water storage. The plant has been offline whilst staff worked to rectify the issue and treated water storages have subsequently reduced to below 30%.


We have been unable to treat the water and Goulburn Valley Water management has now made the call to send non-compliant water to town. This means that GVW is not able to guarantee that the water supplied to Tongala is of a quality fit for human consumption.


Customers must boil water prior to drinking, preparing beverages, washing and preparing food, preparing baby formula, brushing teeth and making ice.
To ensure water is safe for consumption:

  • Heat water until a continuous and rapid stream of air-bubbles is produced from the bottom of a pan or kettle (kettles with automatic shut-off switches are suitable);
  • Allow water to cool before use;
  • Store water in a clean, closed container for later use; and
  • Caution should be taken to prevent scalding from boiling water.

Unboiled water can be used for showering and bathing, flushing toilets, washing dishes and clothes and garden watering. Ensure water is not ingested whilst bathing.


Consumption of unboiled water may lead to diarrhoea, cramps, headaches or other gastro like symptoms. If you are concerned that you may have been affected by contaminated water please contact your local doctor and advise them of this notice. Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and immuno-compromised people are particularly at risk.


Goulburn Valley Water are taking the following actions to resolve the problem:

  • Adjusting treatment requirements for the changing raw water; and
  • Increasing the level of chlorine in the water as a precaution;

Goulburn Valley Water will advise customers in Tongala when water is fit for human consumption.


Bottled water and a tanker to fill your own bottles will be available at Tongala Recreation Reserve, Doug Nicholls Drive for those customers that are unable to boil water. There is a limit of 6 bottles per customer.