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Issued by the Victorian Government

Emergency water relief for bushfire affected residents

9 January 2020

Residents in bushfire affected areas who are without drinking and domestic water supply due to tank contamination now have a single point of contact to call for assistance.

South East Water, based in Frankston, will be providing bushfire aid on behalf of the Victorian water industry to North East Water and East Gippsland Water.

South East Water will be a ‘one-stop-shop’ as the initial contact point for bushfire affected residents who need emergency relief water, as well as coordinating the delivery of water across affected areas.

Eligible permanent residents in the declared bushfire affected areas of East Gippsland and some parts of the Wellington Shire will be provided a tank water flush and top-up of 5,000 litres.

All Victorians who may be threatened by bushfire are reminded to reduce the risk of contamination to water tanks by disconnecting the downpipe and covering the tank, if it is safe to do so.

Residents in non-affected bushfire areas who rely on rainwater tanks are advised that smoke taint alone is unlikely to be a health concern. However, if you are concerned about the taste of your tank water, use bottled water for drinking, food preparation, brushing teeth and for animals. You can continue to use your rainwater for other uses.

Anyone seeking emergency water assistance from the bushfire affected areas should contact South East Water on 13 18 51.

For more information on maintaining water tanks before, during and after bushfires, click here.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville:

“We want to make sure that those affected by bushfire have practical support when it comes to drinking water.” 

“This is part of our coordinated response to ensure the communities can access relief as quickly as possible.”

More information on the Bushfire water relief program