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Water treatment & quality
Quality & testing
Drinking water is regularly tested throughout the distribution system, complying with National Health & Medical Research Council's Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). A regular and rigorous testing regime is maintained, with samples tested at NATA accredited laboratories.

If a problem with water supply is identified, the NSW Health Department will issue a boil water alert. Council consults with NSW Health to ensure current and emerging issues associated with drinking water quality are identified and assessed.

Discolouration -  whilst unsightly is harmless. Can be caused by sudden increases in waterflow rate or a change in direction, stirring up sediment that settles in pipes over time. Burst pipes is another cause as water flow patterns are reversed in surrounding streets.

Hardness - amount of calcium and magnesium salts in water and is the characteristic that affects lathering of soap and scaling of hot water pipes, fittings and heaters. Ranges of hardness as per ADWG are:
  • <60mg/L - soft possibly corrosive;
  • 60-200mg/L - good quality;
  • 200-500mg/L - increading scaling problems; and
  • >500mg/L - severe scaling.

Water treatment plant
Raw or untreated water used by Council is surface water from Glennies Creek Dam (Lake St Clair). Water from the dam contains some naturally present impurities, e.g. particles including clay, silts, natural organic matter, iron, manganese and micro-organisms.

Singleton's water treatment plant is a direct filtration plant, located at Obanvale, Bridgman Road. The plant follows a careful treatment process:
  • Coagulation/Flocculation - liquid aluminium sulphate and/or polymer is added to untreated water. Water goes through rapid mixers causing particles to stick together forming larger particles called flocs which are easier to remove by settling or filtration.
  • Filtration - filters are made of crushed anthracite and collect the suspended impurities in water, enhancing the effectiveness of disinfection. The filters are routinely cleaned by backwashing.
  • Disinfection - ensures any disease causing bacteria, viruses and parasites are destroyed. Chlorine is used as it is an effective disinfectant and residual concentrations can be maintained to guard against possible biological contamination in the distribution system.
  • Sludge drying - solids that are collected and settled out of the water by sedimentation and filtration are removed to the supernatant return ponds.
  • Fluoridation - adjusts the concentration of free fluoride ion to the optimum level sufficient to reduce dental cavities. Council fluoridates water in the form of sodium silico fluoride as required by NSW Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1957.
  • pH correction - lime is added to the filtered water stabilising the naturally soft water in order to minimise corrosion on the distribution system and within customers' plumbing.

Asbestos cement water pipes
The condition of all water supply assets, including asbestos cement pipes is monitored closely and pipes are replaced prior to deterioration.

The 2004 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and World Health Organisation have not set a guideline value for asbestos due to the absence of evidence that asbestos is hazardous to health in water.

Asbestos in drinking-water may come from a variety of sources including asbestos cement water pipes. 

In Australia more than 33% of all water supplies are delivered using asbestos cement water pipes.

In Singleton 14% of the 288km water supply network is made from asbestos fibre cement pipes installed between 1960 and the early 1980’s. 

Council is gradually replacing asbestos cement water pipes as part of the asset renewal program.

Any asbestos fibres that potentially make their way into drinking water are not considered to be hazardous to human health.

Download our fact sheet


Singleton Council
PO Box 314 Singleton NSW 2330
Ph: 02 6578 7290