We all use water every day — for bathing, washing, cooking and drinking.
But what really happens to it before it’s ready to be run through our taps and be safely used?
It is something most of us probably take for granted, and most likely only start to think about once there is some sort of issue with the water supply that directly affects us.
Water may be deemed unsafe because of suspected bacteria lurking in the supply — there may be obvious signs that something is not right, it may smell or taste unusual — or conversely may show no hint of contamination.
It was a situation experienced by Tatura residents in May when a boil-water notice was issued by Goulburn Valley Water for suspected E.coli in the town’s water supply.
While the alert ultimately turned out to likely be a false alarm, GV Water’s response was swift — within just a few hours of a positive result to a sample, the alert had been issued to customers.
The News also assisted, conveying the relevant information to our readers straight away.
GV Water also acted quickly to give free bottled water to affected residents and as more samples were done and came back clear, the alert was soon lifted.
It is pleasing to see GV Water this week offering residents the chance to tour the town’s water treatment plant.
About 20 people took up the opportunity to see how it all works.
The visitors were shown how staff flushed out the town’s water supply to enable the alert to be lifted and the water to be deemed safe again.
The process in May involved about six staff members during a 12-hour period.
In general, the water treatment process for the raw water from a nearby channel and two large storages is a fairly exhaustive one, as those on the tour have discovered.
It is important that customers are promptly informed about any issues potentially arising in their water supply, but further, it is also helpful to educate residents about a process that many would take for granted.
It is a simple initiative but one that nonetheless should be applauded.