Frequently asked questions
Why did we only go on a public health alert for our water when TasWater took over?
As a statewide entity, TasWater is required to comply with both Tasmanian and Australian Drinking Water Quality guidelines. We undertake thorough testing of our water systems to ensure the water we supply to our customers is safe to drink. Test results are assessed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which decides if a public health alert should be issued and also when it should be lifted.
In September 2016, the DHHS changed their requirements for issuing Boil Water Alerts (BWAs). TasWater must now put a water system on a permanent BWA if we cannot guarantee the turbidity (sediment particles) in the water will remain below certain limits (5NTU) during reasonably foreseeable weather events. A BWA must remain in place for that system until appropriate upgrades are completed.
Why are we paying water usage rates for water we cannot drink straight from the tap?
TasWater customers affected by a Public Health Alert for their water will receive a discount that reflects the lower quality.
Water charges and discounts in Tasmania are set by the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (OTTER). TasWater is currently operating under the 2015-2018 Price and Service Plan (PSP2), which you can read about here.
Please contact our Customer Service team on 13 6992 if you have any questions about your account.
Why are we paying for water infrastructure costs when upgrades are not yet complete in our town?
The cost of new infrastructure per connection is very high for regional towns. To ensure that all TasWater customers pay the same price for the same service regardless of where they live, connection costs are shared across the whole state.
This is referred to as “postage stamp pricing” and is further explained in our Prices and Service Plan found here.
Why won’t TasWater allow us to go "off grid"?
A core part of our mission is to provide Tasmanians with water that is safe to drink. As a rule, removing communities from a regulated service is not TasWater’s preferred solution, and before a community can be considered for service replacement, the following points must be taken into account:
- Average rainfall in the area
- Roof area of houses in the town
- Potential for lead contamination from old guttering and flashing on existing roofs
- Water yield
- If there is enough water storage without subsidising supply
- Fire hydrants and other community needs.
Why is TasWater chlorinating our water?
TasWater is legally required to supply customers with water that meets both Tasmanian and Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Chlorine has been used to disinfect drinking water supplies around the world since the early 1900s, and when combined with filtration, has proved both safe and effective.
How much will the upgrade to my community cost?
TasWater will pay for all infrastructure upgrades associated with the 24glasses and Regional Towns Water Supply Program. TasWater customers are currently charged according to the Price and Service Plan 2 (PSP2) – detailed, current pricing information can be found here.
Is this project causing other more important projects to be put on hold?
No. The Regional Towns Water Supply Program is one of several high priority projects for TasWater, and a dedicated budget of approximately $40 million has been set aside to ensure the project’s successful completion in late 2018.
How can TasWater justify spending so much money per connection for such small communities?
TasWater takes the health and well-being of our customers and the wider community very seriously.
We also have a legal requirement to provide our customers with water that meets Tasmanian and Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
I had a rural connection to the main water pipeline before the water treatment plant was constructed. How will I supply my stock with water after TasWater has updated the water pipeline network?
As part of the project, TasWater investigates the water pipeline system of the communities we are working with. A key priority is reducing water loss by removing leaks in the system and identifying the missing or unmetered connections.
Prior to meters being installed, property owners will be consulted regarding their connections and what options are available to them.