Water Quality and Treatment
Drinking Water Quality
Council supplies drinking water quality water to the residents of Dubbo, Eumungerie, Mogriguy, Wellington, Geurie, Mumbil, Brocklehurst, Wongarbon and Ballimore. Drinking water is also sometimes called “potable” water.
Non-potable water refers to water that cannot be directly consumed safely.
Further Information on drinking water quality management is contained within Council's Water Supply Services Policy (PDF 1.7MB).
GEOSMIN THE CAUSE OF EARTHY SMELL IN DUBBO’S WATER (MONDAY 14 dECEMBER 2022)
Geosmin, a natural compound found in water sources has been determined as the cause of the recent earthy smell and taste in Dubbo’s drinking water.
Geosmin is usually more prominent during the warmer months and can affect the taste and odour of treated drinking water. Compounds are generally present in drinking water, but usually below noticeable levels.
While the taste and odour from Geosmin may be unpleasant, it is purely an aesthetic issue and the water is safe to consume. All water treated at the John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant meets the parameters set by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Staff have been using powdered activated carbon dosing units to remove the higher levels of Geosmin to reduce the earthy smell and taste.
Some residents have reported putting water in the fridge can help with taste and odour issues.
Dubbo Regional Council appreciates residents’ patience and understanding while staff work to minimise taste and odour issues.
drinking water management
The generally accepted drinking water quality guidelines for drinking water quality in Australia and New Zealand today are developed and updated by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011 also reflect these international guidelines, such as those developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the results of current medical research. Below are the accepted values for various parameters and a value typical of Dubbo’s Water supply:
||ADWG - 2011
Dubbo Water Value
Hardness as CaCO3
| 200 mg/l
|| 80 mg/l
| 6.5 – 8.5
|| 7.5 – 8.5
| Taste & Colour
| Not Necessary
|| Acceptable to most people
Total Dissolved Solids
|| 250 mg/l
| True Colour
| Thermotolerant Coliforms
||None in 100 ml
| Total Coliforms
||# No guideline value set
| Chlorine (Max)
| Ammonia as NH3
|| <2.0 mg/l
|| <0.009 mg/l
| Chromium (as CR (VI))
|| <0.05 mg/l
||0.08 to 0.12 mg/l *
|| <0.3 mg/l
| Nitrate (as NO3)
| Nitrite (as NO2)
|| <250 mg/l
| Hydrogen Sulfide
|| <0.1 mg/l
* Due to operational reasons Council is unable to add additional fluoride to the Dubbo water supply service area. The National Health and Medical Research Council supports Australian States and Territories fluoridating their drinking water within the range of 0.6 to 1.1mg of fluoride per litre. For more information around fluoridation of Dubbo Water Supply, visit dubbo.nsw.gov.au/fluoride
# No guideline value has been set for Total Coliforms
eNVIRONMENTAL DISCHARGE MONITORING
Dubbo Regional Council's Water Treatment Plants are licenced by the NSW Environment Protection Authority, and backwash water discharged to the Macquarie River must be monitored in accordance with the terms of the licences.
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant - EPA Licence 11694 (PDF 124.7KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant - EPA Licence 428 (PDF 159.5KB)
The following tables contain monthly monitoring data showing the acceptable ranges of pollutants in the backwash water as determined by the EPA, and the actual measurement of the pollutants present.
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2022/2023 (PDF 433.2KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2021/2022 (PDF 450KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2020/2021 (PDF 110.2KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2019/2020 (PDF 106.7KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2018/2019(PDF 443.3KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2017/2018 (PDF 209.7KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2022/2023 - Point 2 (PDF 412.6KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2021/2022 - Point 2 (PDF 416.1KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2020/2021 - Point 2 (PDF 101.1KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2019/2020 - Point 2 (~~~DocAnnotation.type.41854~~~ 103KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2018/2019 - Point 2
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2017/2018 - Point 2 (PDF 205KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2022/2023 - Point 3 (PDF 414KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2021/2022 - Point 3 (PDF 419.6KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2020/2021 - Point 3 (PDF 101.6KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2019/2020 - Point 3 (PDF 103.6KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2018/2019 - Point 3 (PDF 102.9KB)
Wellington Water Filtration Plant 2017/2018 - Point 3 (PDF 205.7KB)
Pollution Incident Response Management Plan (PIRMP)
Council has developed Pollution Incident Response Management Plans that will guide Council's response in the event of any pollution incidents that may occur at the John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant (PDF 642.5KB) and Wellington Water Treatment Plant. (PDF 644.6KB)
Boil Water Notices
Sometimes a breakdown in part of the water treatment process means the
treatment of water is not completed and it is not safe for customers to consume
it. In such cases, water utilities, such as Council, issue Boil Water Notices.
These Notices are issued by
Council and the NSW Department of Health when the water treatment process has
been compromised, or may have been compromised. Council will use a range of methods to communicate the issuing and lifting of these notices. Residents should also consult Council’s website and
What to do when a Boil Water Notice is declared in your area
Affected drinking water can be made microbiologically safe by bringing the water to a rolling boil. Electric kettles with automatic shut off switches are sufficient for this purpose and should reduce the risk of scalding. Variable temperature kettles should be set to boil. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.
Cooled boiled or bottled water should be used for: cooking, washing uncooked foods (such as seafood and salad), making ice, pet’s drinking water, brushing teeth & gargling, sponge bathing young children, preparing baby formula, and washing toys and children’s utensils.
Children should take bottled water or cooled boiled water to school.
Unboiled water may be use for:
Showering and bathing (avoid swallowing water). As a precaution babies and toddlers should be sponge bathed to prevent them swallowing water
Dishes should be washed by hand in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher and air-dried before use.
Further information regarding public health and drinking water is available from the NSW Health brochure (PDF 79KB)
Council operates its water supply system ensuring the water quality
meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011 (ADWG) and NSW Health
Our water quality monitoring
program consists of sampling and testing of critical points within our
treatment process and delivery system.
- Treatment Plant - Samples are taken to monitor the source water quality which can vary due to catchment conditions.
- Water Supply System - Samples are taken from various locations within the reticulation system and provide a typical profile of the quality of water being delivered to customers.
Water Mains Cleaning
Council periodically undertakes a system wide water mains
flushing program to protect the quality of the drinking water supply to
residents, and to minimise the risk of water main breaks. This program is
part of Council’s ongoing maintenance of the water reticulation network.
Council frequently tests water quality throughout the system to check
that the water remains safe to drink and meets Australian Drinking Water
Last Edited: 15 Dec 2022