Water in the Chichester Trunk Gravity Main (CTGM) in the Hunter region is classified as raw, untreated water, meaning it is unsafe to drink under Australian guidelines. Hunter water is now looking to provide alternate solutions for affected residents.

Since November 2016, Hunter Water has been regularly engaging with 71 properties which are directly connected to the CTGM, north of the Dungog Water Treatment Plant. These customers have always had a non-standard connection for raw untreated water and have been paying a discounted rate since July 2000, reflecting that it is untreated.

Hunter Water has offered to provide a rainwater tank or an onsite treatment option for these residents to ensure they have a safe drinking water supply. On average, Hunter Water estimates the value it is providing is $30,000 per property.

To date, 19 properties who have accepted this offer now have a solution in place. Hunter Water continues to work with customers who have not yet agreed to receiving a drinking water solution.

Rainwater tanks and onsite treatment solutions are common for rural and remote properties that cannot feasibly be connected to the reticulated network, including in Hunter Water’s area of operations. Drinking water and wastewater are the responsibility of the property owner in these cases.

Hunter Water intends to supply raw untreated water for irrigation and other non-potable purposes, provided that customers give a written acknowledgement that they will not use the water for drinking purposes.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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