Water quality and treatment
Drinking Water Quality
Council supplies drinking water quality water to the residents of Dubbo, 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.
Council has adopted a Drinking Water Quality Policy to ensure that customers
can drink Council's tap water with confidence.
drinking water management
The Council 2015/2016 Drinking Water Management System Annual Report (PDF 4.4MB) is a review of our performance for the period March 2015 to February 2016.
This report is specifically designed to provide information on the quality of Dubbo's drinking water.
Publication of this report allows us to meet the requirements of the Department of Health NSW and Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011 (ADWG 2011).
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
||None in 100 ml
| Chlorine (Max)
| Ammonia as NH3
|| <0.2 mg/l
|| <0.7 mg/l
| Chromium (as CR (VI))
|| <0.05 mg/l
|| <0.3 mg/l
| Nitrate (as NO3)
| Nitrite (as NO2)
|| <250 mg/l
| Hydrogen Sulfide
|| <0.1 mg/l
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant
The John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant is also 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 licence. The licence number is 11694.
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant Licence (PDF 116.9KB)
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 2016/2017 (PDF 190KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2015/2016 (PDF 208.5KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2014/2015 (PDF 207.6KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2013/2014 (PDF 208.9KB)
John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant 2012/2013 (PDF 205.9KB)
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 deliver Notices to
all affected properties. Residents should also consult Council’s website and
When the Boil Water Notice is
in force, tap water should first be boiled for at least a minute and allowed to
cool, before it is consumed. Boiled water should also be used
in activities that may result in ingestion of water, such as cleaning of teeth
or gargling, washing uncooked foods such as salads or seafood, and making ice.
Children should take boiled water in a bottle to schools in affected areas.
Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher. Residents should be careful
when boiling water and be aware of the dangers of scalding.
When the Boil Water Notice is
in force, tap water may still be used for purposes where the water will not be
ingested, such as flushing toilets, watering lawns and washing cars.
Council will deliver Notices
when the Boil Water Notice is withdrawn.
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 locations, usually a residential house, 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
Department of Health (DoH) encourages water supply authorities to fluoridate
their water supplies in order to protect the public’s teeth and reduce tooth
Council adds fluoride to its drinking
water raising the level of fluoride naturally occurring in the water to a level
that is known to reduce the incidence of dental caries (or cavities).
Why is dental decay a problem?
health is fundamental to one's overall health. A healthy mouth enables a person
to eat, speak and socialise without pain or discomfort. Dental decay is the
most common health problem of any type in Australia.
How long has NSW had water fluoridation?
has been added to most water supplies in NSW, commencing with Yass in 1956. In
NSW alone there are more than 50 years experience proving the effectiveness and
safety of water fluoridation. Most Australians have had water fluoridation for
25-50 years. NSW has one of the highest levels of water fluoridation,
approximately 95% of the population has access to fluoridated water.
When was Dubbo’s water supply first fluoridated?
City Council started fluoridating town water back in September 1984.
The new fluoride dosing equipment uses a liquid called hydrofluosilicic acid.
Fluoride Dosing System?
The dosing system at the John Gilbert Water Treatment Plant uses a liquid called hydrofluoro silic acid, which is a liquid at room temperature. It has been designed to prevent any dosage higher than the recommended level, in accordance
with the Code of Practice for the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies.
The fluoridation at the Water Treatment Plant is strictly controlled with staff
having specialised training and the system under the supervision of the Department of Health (DoH).
Who benefits from water fluoridation?
has relied on community water fluoridation as its main mode of delivering
optimal fluoride. This provides universal dental decay and preventative benefit
to all individuals regardless of age, gender and socio-economic status.
Is water fluoridation NSW policy?
It is NSW
Health policy to fluoridate water in NSW as it remains an effective, efficient,
socially equitable and safe approach to prevention of cavities in Australia.
Last Edited: 06 Dec 2016