Rural Water Supplies

Rural Water Supplies

Many Tasmanians draw their household water supply from rainwater tanks, nearby waterways, bores or dams. These untreated water sources have potential to carry harmful germs, chemicals or other contaminants that may make you sick.

But there are steps you can take to help you and your family stay healthy. These are particularly important if your household contains young children, older people or people with a chronic illness.

The Director of Public Health has standing advice for Tasmanians who drink from:

  • Rainwater tanks
  • Ground water, such as wells and bores. You should seek advice before you use these water sources, as they may not be suitable in your area.
  • Surface water, such as rivers and streams. Untreated river water is not recommended for drinking or cooking.
  • Dams. Of all raw water sources, you must take the most care when using dam water.

Can I treat my water?

Water may need to be treated to make it safer for drinking and other household purposes.

Depending on your water source, you can:

  • filter water to remove suspended material, microorganisms and some chemicals
  • boil water to kill germs and remove some chemicals (although this will not remove toxins from algae).

What can contaminate my water supply?

The biggest potential risk to your health comes from harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites. But other contaminants, such as chemicals, may also enter your water.

Always make sure you keep your water collection system clean.