How Safe Is Our Drinking Waters In Sydney?
We all drink the water in our taps at home, in school, in the office or in any public drinking taps. But do you ask yourself “Where does all of these water that we’re drinking come from?”. Good question. Well, the answer to that is even greater. Thanks to Sydney Waters and the group of dedicated people who keep an eye on the long and perfect process to provide world class quality drinking water to all the people in Sydney and nearby regions.
It all starts with an awesome water filtration. Sydney Waters have nine water filtration plants across New South Wales. Usually close to rivers, dams or reservoirs. The plant in Prospect is the largest. Having to treat over a total of more than 80% of all Sydney’s drinking water. But it doesn’t mean that those other eight filtration plants do less part of the process. They actually work differently and the function they do depends on the quality of water it receives.
How do they get raw water and how to turn it into drinking water?
Water is bought from Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA). These raw water comes from Lake Burragorang then goes to Warragamba Dam before going to the three nearby filtration plants in Warragamba, Orchard Hills and Prospect. Other filtration plants have their own sources that’s why different technology and water quality means different work for each plants. But basically, the steps are just the same.
Raw water contains a lot of natural factors that are yet to be cleaned. Before going to the filtration plants, leaves, twigs, other organic matter, sediments and minerals such as manganese and iron are removed. Water filtration is already in process and it is being added with Chlorine to eliminate contaminants. The final drinking water is also added with a bit of lime, caustic soda and carbon monoxide for pH control. This also maximise disinfection and helps prevent corrosion in the piping system.
Flouride is also added to comply the with law under NSW health (Flouridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1957) to further prevent people from having tooth decay. The law states that in every litre of drinking water, it should contain one milligram of Flouride in it.
Testing the final product of drinking water is in accordance to Australian drinking water guidelines and the New South Wales health requirements. Safe status on the drinking water is the top priority guideline in checking it’s quality. Aesthetic targets then follows. Checking the water’s odour, taste and appearance.
The water is then ready to take its journey to over 250 reservoirs, more than 160 pumping stations, down to a 21,000 km pipe network to customers taps. Overall, the people behind the water filtration and treatment process supplies 1,300 million litres of world class drinking water a day to more than 1,700 homes and businesses around Sydney.
What is our role to help and protect our drinking water quality?
It starts with a good self discipline by having great awareness in every rubbish you throw away. Making sure that they don’t end up in rivers, lakes or creeks gives a big factor of preserving the quality of water we use daily. With the help of proper indoor plumbing at home, Sydney will continue to live a life having world class quality drinking water for a long time.