Yes, you can drink the water

Social media has been abuzz with rumour - is the local drinking water safe, or not. Can you drink it without getting a touch of Jindy belly? The Snowy River Shire Council, quick off the mark, has moved to reassure residents, and visitors, that the water is safe to drink. Really.

If the water sometimes comes out brown, it's to do with the "gunk" sitting in the pipes. Let the tap run for a while, the council says, and everything will be just fine.

In addition to daily monitoring for adequate disinfection, the council's environmental health officers (EHOs) coordinate and conduct an auditing program in close liaison with the NSW Department of Health.

This independent auditing program includes regular sampling for testing of microbial and chemical properties and ensures the water supply is delivered in compliance with the national Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). Council's manager of regulation and compliance (EHO) Yvonne Menere said, "From a safety and public health point of view, this is a very reliable and efficient system for council. The two tiers of monitoring test the suitability of drinking water and provide an additional safety net for consumers.

"If at any time the water does not comply with the ADWG, council liaises with the NSW Department of Health to determine what action is required.

"Anything that has the potential to possibly adversely impact public health, will result in immediate action by advising the community of the risks and what action to take, e.g. use of bottled water or to boil water".

The council also advises that householders are responsible for their water between the metre and their taps. Often aged or defective plumbing can lead to quality issues in the home.

And if you have been away from home, let the water run when you get back.

"People sometimes find brown water in their taps if they have been away for sometime and the 'gunk' that sits in the internal pipes comes out brown," water and waste manager Gnai Ahamat said.

"This is also the case from old galvanised iron pipes in the internal plumbing in the houses. If anyone has been away for sometime they need to run the tap until they get clear water coming through".

The council strongly encourages consumers to lodge their water quality concerns with council by phoning 6451 1195 to enable further investigation.

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