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Urgent health alert: Melbourne residents told not to drink tap water

1 month ago 22

Residents in almost 90 Melbourne suburbs have been told not to drink their tap water after a freak storm wreaked havoc across the city on Thursday night.

Yarra Valley Water have told their customers in more than 250,000 households to boil their tap water before drinking or cooking with it.

Undisinfected water from Silvan Reservoir entered the water supply when the system was impacted by the wild weather on Thursday.

RELATED: Three dead in freak Melbourne storm

Yarra Valley Water managing director Pat McCafferty told 3AW Neil Mitchell power outages were to blame for the disinfected water getting into the drinking supply.

He said anyone with “gastro-like” symptoms who has drunk tap water without realising the notice was in place should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

“This is really precautionary – the risk is low – but we do think it’s better to be prudent in these matters,” he said.

“Showering and those sorts of things are fine, but for drinking water, and food preparation, please boil the water as a precaution.”

He said the notice is expected to be withdrawn later on Friday.

A Yarra Valley Water spokesperson said special care should be taken with young children, people whose immune system is compromised and the elderly.

“We are working to return water supply to normal as soon as possible,” they said.

“If you have further concerns, please call us 24 hours a day on 13 27 62.”


If you live in the suburbs below, you are advised to bring water to a rolling boil before drinking, preparing beverages, washing and preparing food, preparing baby formula, brushing teeth and making ice until further notice.

Boil water in a kettle with an automatic cut-off or on the stove until it boils strongly, with a rapid stream of air-bubbles from the bottom of the kettle or pan. Once you have boiled the water, allow it to cool. You can store it in the fridge in clean, closed containers for drinking or food preparation – you do not need to boil it again. Take care not to injure or scald yourself when you handle boiling water, especially around children Unboiled water can still be used for showering and bathing, flushing toilets, washing dishes and clothes and garden watering. Ensure you do not drink water when you are in the bath and take extra care when bathing infants. Unboiled water can still be used to wash your hands.


Yarra Valley Water said it is supplying emergency drinking water to those who need it. If you have special needs and require assistance, please contact them on 13 2762.


Undisinfected water can cause gastro-like symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact your GP and advise your GP about this notice.


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