Bendigo’s water mains clearing program will now become an annual event, ensuring the region’s water network remains healthy and to help maintain chlorine residual. The 2023 program will begin in Bendigo on 16 January and run until the end of April 2023. 

Manager Water Regulations, David Sheehan, said the program will also cover the communities of Axedale, Huntly, Marong, Sebastian and Raywood.

“What’s new this year is that this program will now become part of our annual works program,” Mr Sheehan said.

“The rapid growth in many areas of Bendigo, especially near the extremities of our Bendigo water supply network, led us to review the frequency of works. We previously carried out these works every two to three years.” 

Mr Sheehan said this increased frequency is vital in ensuring the ongoing good network health and to help maintain chlorine residual.

“It will ensure our Bendigo water supply network continues to be safe for our communities, which is the core of what we do,” Mr Sheehan said. 

Chlorine residual is the amount of chlorine that remains in the pipe network after water leaves the water treatment plant.

Mr Sheehan said the work requires an adjustment of the usual water treatment process at the Bendigo Water Treatment Plant and does not affect the pressure or flow of customers’ water supply.   

“For the duration of works, only chlorine will be used to treat water – which is known as free chlorination. This is a common method of disinfection used in many parts of the Coliban Water region.”

Mr Sheehan said once the works are finished, the plant will return to the normal chloramination water treatment process (which uses a combination of chlorine and ammonia).

Some customers may notice a change in the taste and odour of the water and if a customer believes they are sensitive to chlorine, they may choose to pass their drinking water through a purifier or filter. Another option is to fill a jug and place it in the fridge for ten minutes as this will remove the taste of chlorine. 

The water will remain safe for pets to drink. 

“We are also encouraging both pet stores and pet fish owners to review their water treatment processes if they intend on refilling an aquarium during this time,” Mr Sheehan said.

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